NEWBURYPORT — A Gloucester-based fisherman accused of threatening another fisherman on social media in 2019 — calling him a “maggot” and suggesting he should be shot — avoided jail time Tuesday when he admitted a judge could find him guilty of intimidating a witness.
Ryan P. Osmond, 35, of Rockport saw the charge continued without a finding for six months and was ordered by Newburyport District Court Judge Peter Doyle to have no contact with the Newburyport man he threatened.
Doyle also admonished Osmond for the words he posted on Facebook.
“I think the posts are outrageous,” the judge said.
Massachusetts Environmental Police Officer Ryan Lennon wrote that the victim had been “cooperating with MEP on several investigations concerning other marine fisheries violations and is a possible witness.”
Osmond apparently learned the other fisherman was helping the Environmental Police and voiced his displeasure on Facebook.
“(The victim) is one of the biggest maggots around. He’s always been an arrogant (expletive) but now he’s getting into the business of ruining other people’s lives and that just don’t sit right with me,” Osmond wrote, according to Lennon’s report.
In a second Facebook post, Osmond wrote that the other fisherman should be shot.
The other fisherman, who was working in Newburyport at the time of the 2019 postings, told Lennon that he never met Osmond but knew he worked on a fishing boat in Gloucester.
The man also said he feared Osmond could become violent and was concerned that Osmond was posting comments about his cooperation on a public forum.
In a separate matter, Osmond also posted about killing seals, according to Lennon.
In July 2019, Osmond met Lennon at the state fish pier in Gloucester.
There, Osmond denied killing any seals and then went into a “profanity-laced rant” about the other fisherman.
“I showed him the threatening posts and he admitted they were his and stated it was OK because they were just words. I informed him that it was witness intimidation and he became more agitated at which point I informed him I would issue him a summons,” Lennon wrote in his report.
Dave Rogers is a reporter with the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.