, Newburyport, MA

June 17, 2014

Argument with tree costs Amesbury man $150

By Dave Rogers
Staff Writer

---- — AMESBURY — An Orchard Street man’s attempt to fight a tree rooted near the Fuller Building over the weekend landed him in jail and $150 poorer, according to Newburyport District Court documents.

Jeffrey R. Howes, 36, pleaded guilty to a single disorderly conduct charge yesterday morning and, as part of a plea deal with the Amesbury Police Department’s prosecutor, agreed to pay a $100 fine and $50 to the Victim-Witness Fund.

According to court documents, Amesbury police responded to a disturbance Friday around 5:20 p.m. on Main Street outside the Fuller Building. The owner of Nest, the building’s newest tenant, reported that a man who had just entered the store and asked her for a several napkins was now outside punching and arguing with a tree.

“Howes then went outside and tried to sit on the ledge in front of her store window. She stated Howes kept falling to the ground, he was yelling and arguing to himself. Howes then started to punch the outside of her store window. Howes then went over to a tree and started yelling at it and punching it,” according officer Charles Sciacca’s report.

Sciacca wrote that the witness watched as Howes turned his attention to a nearby park bench and began punching it while yelling at himself. Howes’ actions were making the store owner and her other employees nervous.

Upon speaking to Howes, police officers detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from him. Officer Craig Lesage called for an ambulance to evaluate Howes, but the defendant refused treatment. He was placed under arrest and charged with disorderly conduct.

“Howes was completely incoherent; his story as to how and he was there continued to change,” Sciacca wrote.

According to Sciacca’s report, the reporting party remembered seeing Howes inside the nearby Ale House restaurant an hour earlier. Acting in a similar manner, Howes was asked to leave the downtown restaurant.