NEWBURYPORT — A Seabrook man is being held without bail after allegedly holding up a Newburyport gas station last Friday, armed with a blood-filled syringe and threatening it held the AIDS virus. His alleged accomplice is being sought.
Jerry Dow, 22, of 70 Washington St., Seabrook, was arraigned yesterday afternoon before Judge Allan Swan at Newburyport District Court. Dow’s attorney made a case for Dow being released on a “reasonable bail of $2,500,” because he had no criminal record in Massachusetts and a minimal record in New Hampshire, where he lives with his parents.
But Swan found probable cause for the arrest after Assistant District Attorney Michael Brier described the crime and results of Newburyport Police Department’s investigation and evidence. Swan agreed with Brier that Dow poses a threat to the public and should be held without bail until his formal dangerousness hearing on Friday morning, April 26.
With a warrant out for him on two felony counts of armed robbery and larceny over $250, Dow was picked up earlier this week by Seabrook police officers Patrick Smart and Justin Murphy inside a South Main Street house. Seabrook Sgt. Brett Walker said the officers were conducting a sweep of houses Dow was known to frequent when they spotted him.
According to the Newburyport police report found in court documents, Dow and the other suspect, Nathan C. Eaton, 31, of 22 South Main St., Seabrook, allegedly pulled up in a red minivan to the Shell Station on Storey Avenue on April 12 around 9:30 p.m. After exiting the vehicle, they entered the gas station, with one man dressed in a red hooded sweatshirt and the other in a black hooded sweatshirt. Both had hoods covering their heads.
The gas station clerk who was robbed reported the suspect wearing the red sweatshirt was holding a hypodermic syringe in his hand that contained a red fluid, and threatened: “Give me all your money. This needle has AIDS in it.”
After receiving the cash, the same suspect told the witness: “Don’t call anyone or we’ll come back and kill you,” Brier said.
After the suspects left, police were called, and found the tape from the gas station’s video surveillance camera corroborated the witness’ testimony. Getting the license plate numbers of the red minivan from the witness, police learned it belonged to a 2003 Red Dodge Caravan, registered to Jessica Gosselin of Seabrook.
According to the court documents, Newburyport Police broadcast a “be on the look out” alert, and were called by Seabrook police who said the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Seabrook by Gosslin. The suspect in the car theft was Eaton, Gosselin’s former boyfriend.
According to Brier, Gosselin was shown a copy of the surveillance video, and was able to identify her vehicle. She also identified Dow, whom she said was addicted to drugs, as the man wearing the red hoodie, and Eaton, as the man wearing the black hoody, Brier said.
In a photo array, the gas station attendant was also able to identify Dow and Eaton as the suspects involved in the robbery.
There is currently an outstanding warrant for Eaton’s arrest on two felony charges of armed robbery and larceny over $250. Eaton is still at-large.
On the night of the robbery, Salisbury police found the red minivan abandoned at Main Street’s Mobil on the Run gas station. Newburyport police responded and a State Police K-9 team tracked the scent to down the wood line along I-95 from Salisbury to Seabrook, but rainy weather terminated the search.
The minivan was towed to the Salisbury Police Station and upon inspection, police found a baseball hat covering the cup holders in the car, according to court documents, and under the cap they found a hypodermic syringe with a red substance in it.
According to the police report, Gosselin told Newburyport officers that she’d been having problems with her boyfriend, Eaton, in recent days, although she’d known him most of her life. Gosselin said Eaton was released from jail in March and had been living with her until recently when she took out a restraining order against him and told him to move out.
It was on April 12, after Eaton had removed his belongings, that Gosselin noticed some of her valuables missing, as well as her minivan, and reported the thefts to Seabrook police, according to court documents.