AMESBURY — The owner of a downtown flower shop could face more than two years behind bars if convicted of breaking the hand of a Newburyport woman last Wednesday during a heated exchange over her dog.
Greenery Designs owner Terrence Gleason, 54, of Wells Avenue in Amesbury, was arraigned Thursday at Newburyport District Court on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery. He was released on personal recognizance and is due back in court on Sept. 10 for a pretrial hearing.
According to the report of Amesbury police officer David Noyes, Gleason had been taking care of the woman’s terrier for two weeks. During that time, he took the dog to a veterinarian when he thought it was sick.
When the woman returned to pick up her dog, Gleason refused to give it back until she paid him $35 for the trip to the veterinarian, she said. The victim went to police and told an officer about Gleason’s demands. Police advised her to return to Gleason and to call them if he refused to hand over the dog.
Returning to Gleason’s home, the victim said she could see the dog in the house and tried to get it to come outside. Gleason then allegedly grabbed the victim and threw her down his front steps. She said she crawled back up the steps and, with one hand on the doorjamb, motioned for the dog to come out. Gleason allegedly slammed the door on her hand causing, a significant gash and breaking at least one bone, according to Noyes.
The victim was treated at the scene before being transported to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport.
When questioned by police, Gleason said the victim had barged into his home and that her injury was caused by him trying to get her out. He went on to say she had kicked the front door in and wasn’t acting like a lady, Noyes wrote in his report.
When approached by a reporter yesterday, Gleason became agitated and said he had nothing to add. He went on to claim the victim stormed into his house.
“When someone breaks into my home, I’m going to defend myself,” Gleason said.
According to Noyes’ report, police couldn’t find evidence the victim broke into Gleason’s house. Judging by blood stains found at the crime scene, it appears the incident took place near the front door as the victim claimed.
Gleason’s roommate, who was inside the residence at the time, said he didn’t see the incident take place.
As a handcuffed Gleason was being placed in the cruiser, he shouted the victim would never get her dog back. During booking at the station, Gleason accused police of being thieves and liars and that he has had problems with the city of Amesbury for years, according to the report.
“He appeared to be trying to agitate us,” Noyes wrote in his report.