NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

July 18, 2014

In Plum Island assault case, surprise and shock

The most head-turning story to appear in this newspaper this week is today’s main story, regarding the assault that occurred on Plum Island in the early hours of Memorial Day. Two local women who were looking for a dog were beaten and injured by what they described as a large group of people; the women’s lawyer stated the group had connections to an Asian gang. The incident has caused a tremendous reaction on Plum Island.

For weeks there has been very little official information released by police, and in that absence much has been rumored and supposed. Many on Plum Island have rallied to support the two local women who were injured in the fracas, holding well-attended fundraisers to help pay for medical and other expenses. Many have also lashed out at Newbury police for their slow response.

Yesterday, Newbury police announced the results of their investigation, a report will no doubt be a source of surprise, shock, and anger for many who have followed the case. Police believe there is sufficient evidence to charge eight people -- including the two local women -- with assault and battery. Worse still, police say the two women initiated the incident by making racial slurs against a group of Asians who were partying at a home on the island. Police also say there was no connection to an Asian gang, and that accusation actually harmed their investigation.

This is a very different narrative than has been playing out on the island for the past several weeks. It will be a hard story for many to digest. The fact that it has taken so long for this to come out has solidified a widely-held belief on the island that the police responded too slowly, and that an injustice had been done that has threatened public safety.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man Explosions as hot air balloon crashes in Clinton DUI Driver Dragged to Safety by Officer After Walking Onto Busy Freeway Celebrities That We'd Like to Send to the Moon Spectacular lightning storm hits London Malaysian Flight Victim Was South Florida Grad Rory McIlroy on pace to break British Open records Officials Fear MH17 Site Now Tampered by Rebels Lowes employees repair Vietnam vet's wheelchair Widow of Staten Island man who died after NYPD takedown says he was unjustifiably targeted
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans