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November 22, 2012

sentence in Beach brawl

Methuen officer gets community service and must pay restitution

NEWBURYPORT — Shawn B. Tardif, the Methuen police officer accused of assaulting a 25-year-old woman during a bachelorette party brawl at the Surfside 5 Bar & Grill on Salisbury Beach in August, was sentenced yesterday to 100 hours of community service and must pay thousands of dollars in restitution.

By admitting to sufficient facts to the charges of assault and battery and wanton destruction of property more than $250 in Newburyport District Court, the six-year veteran of the Methuen Police Department avoided having to plead guilty. Judge Peter Doyle continued the case without finding for three years, meaning if the 38-year-old adheres to conditions imposed by the court and stays out of trouble, the charges against him will be dismissed.

In addition to performing 100 hours of community service, Tardif must remain drug- and alcohol-free for three years and be subject to random screens. He must stay away from and have no contact with the victim, attend anger management courses and pay $50 to the Victim-Witness Fund. He was also ordered to pay $2,645 in restitution after smashing DJ equipment during the brawl.

Essex County prosecutor Michelle Belmonte had asked the court to find Tardif guilty and sentenced to three years probation, while Tardif’s attorney, Gerard LaFlamme, asked for the case to be continued without finding for two years.

When asked if her office was satisfied with Doyle’s decision, Essex County District Attorney spokeswoman Carrie Kimball Monahan said her office couldn’t comment other than to say they would abide by the ruling.

“It’s up to the judge to make a decision,” Kimball Monahan said.

LaFlamme did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Following his arrest on Aug. 4, Tardif was placed on paid administrative leave and later returned, minus his firearm, to restricted desk duty a week later. It is unknown yet whether Tardif’s plea agreement will affect his position at the Methuen Police Department.

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