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The Salem News
Published: June 12, 2008 05:45 am
By Julie Manganis, Staff writer
DANVERS - A Peabody woman who allegedly shoved a mall security guard, knocking him unconscious, and scuffled with police officers last week was released yesterday by a judge, even after he expressed skepticism about her version of events.
Salem Superior Court Judge David Lowy called Ellen Middleton’s claim that the officer walked into her hand and fell over “absurd” and said Middleton seemed to be “making it all up” as she went along. The comments came during a bail review hearing yesterday morning.
Middleton, 43, of 2 Washington St., was arrested June 1 after a series of 911 calls from the Liberty Tree Mall. Middleton, who was with her 8-year-old son, had apparently gotten into a dispute with an employee there and, police say, threw two video game boxes at him.
When a security guard, a man over 60, came to respond to the commotion, Middleton allegedly shoved him over, knocking him unconscious.
Then she ran to the food court with her son and went into the ladies room, police say.
As a nurse who happened to be at the mall went to the aid of the security guard, witnesses directed police to the restroom. When Middleton came out, police said, she had a cut on her face that wasn’t there when she went in, the witnesses said.
Middleton yelled obscenities at police and claimed, “The (expletive) old security guy got in my face and scared me, so I pushed him. It’s not my fault he fell.” Then she went to pick up a pay phone, telling the officers, “I’m calling my lawyer and suing your (expletive).”
Middleton scuffled with police who tried to arrest her, at one point claiming, “I have (expletive) AIDS,” and saying she hoped they got it from her.
At her arraignment in Salem District Court on June 2, a judge set bail at $1,000. She’s been unable to make that bail and has been held at the women’s correctional institute in Framingham. Her son is in the custody of the Department of Social Services.
A court-appointed lawyer yesterday told Lowy that Middleton insists she never pushed the officer and says she raised her hand and he simply walked into it and fell.
As for the claim of exposing the officers to AIDS, the lawyer said Middleton said she was actually concerned the officers could catch it from her because she was bleeding.
Middleton, a former licensed practical nurse, told her lawyer that she recently suffered an injury from treating a patient and feared that she had contracted it, but has not been diagnosed with it. Her lawyer said Middleton has been working as a bill collector for a law firm for the past two years.
She also said she suffers from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, depression and anxiety, and other, unspecified disorders. She also said she was recently diagnosed with perimenopause and had just started treatment.
Lowy agreed to release her on strict conditions that include compliance with her medication and no alcohol a condition that will be enforced with random alcohol testing by a probation officer.
Middleton has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and battery on a person over 60, assault and battery on a police officer, being disorderly, resisting arrest, and assault.
She is due back in court on July 2.