By Dave Rogers
---- — NEWBURYPORT — Kidnapping and other felony charges filed against a Newburyport man after his arrest in August were dropped yesterday, weeks after a Salem Superior Court grand jury voted not to indict him due to lack of evidence.
Trevor Eaton, 25, of 18 Chestnut St., Newburyport, was charged with kidnapping, as well as indecent assault and battery on a person over age 14 and assault and battery stemming from an alleged attack against a 27-year-old woman inside Cashman Park in August. Last month, a probable cause hearing against Eaton was pushed back until yesterday.
In August, City Marshal Thomas Howard said the victim told officers she first saw the vehicle as she was walking toward Cashman Park to watch her boyfriend’s softball game. She told police that Eaton asked her for directions, and when she leaned down toward the window to answer, he yanked her inside the SUV.
Essex County District Attorney spokeswoman Carrie Kimball-Monahan said typically a grand jury is presented evidence based on an investigation conducted by local police.
“They must have not seen enough evidence to support the charge,” Kimball-Monahan said.
Evidence in the case was thin from the start.
Howard said there were plenty of unanswered questions based on the completely opposing stories told by the victim and Eaton. It had been hoped that witnesses to the incident would have been able to shed some light, but police were unable to locate anyone who might have seen it.
“We believe there’s a lot more to the story that was told to us by the parties involved. We can only give the grand jury what we have. They too saw the issues that we saw,” Howard said, referring to the grand jury.
When asked if police could be filing charges against the alleged victim for her part in the incident, Howard would only say he is still hoping witnesses will come forward and added that his department is still working with the district attorney’s office in an attempt to conclude the matter altogether.
On the night of Tuesday, Aug. 13, numerous 911 calls came in to the police station reporting a woman was screaming and trying to escape from a black Chevy Equinox driving the wrong way down Dove Street, Howard said.
The victim yelled for help and fought to get the man to stop, as Eaton allegedly drove toward Tyng Street, Howard said. She told police she continued to fight Eaton as he made sexual advances toward her. She accused him of punching her across her left temple, before she was able to reach a pocket knife she had in her pants, which she used to stab him in the right arm and thigh, police said.
At that point, the victim was able to get out of the car as police arrived on the scene. Before she got out of the vehicle, the victim took Eaton’s keys so he couldn’t drive away, according to Howard.
Officers found Eaton up the street, speaking on his cellphone and bleeding from his injuries, for which he was treated by medical personnel. The victim told police she didn’t know the suspect, but Eaton told police the couple had a relationship, Howard said.