NEWBURYPORT — A homeless man was ordered by a judge to stay away from Newburyport Public Library for the next year after threatening to throw a Molotov cocktail at the State Street building in September. 

Michael Collins, 44, was charged with threatening to commit a crime after a clerk magistrate in May found there was enough probable cause to arraign him on the offense, according to court records. 

During Collins’ appearance via video in Newburyport District Court on Thursday, he admitted a judge or jury could find him guilty of the charge and saw the offense continued without a finding for a year. If Collins stays away from the library and stays out of trouble with the law, the charge against him would be dropped after a year. 

Staying out of trouble could prove to be difficult, however. In January, Collins admitted a judge could find him guilty of chasing a woman with a stick outside the Essex Street Inn in October. A month earlier, Collins was charged with damaging a police station cell after he was placed in protective custody for public drunkenness. 

“Be advised Michael Collins is very well-known to the Newburyport Police Department and has been involved in a number of incidents in the past few weeks, Officer Kyle McElroy wrote in his report involving the library incident. “Michael is currently homeless and it is evident that his mental status is diminishing.” 

On Sept. 11 about 1 p.m., Library Director Giselle Stevens told McElroy and Officer Travis Wile that Collins threatened to throw a Molotov cocktail at the building after he tried to get in the library after it had closed for the day. 

Stevens also said Collins was ordered to leave the library a few days earlier when he swore at Stevens when she asked him to lower the volume of his music, according to McElroy’s report. 

“After speaking with Giselle, I walked over and spoke to Michael who was standing by the curb on Prince Place with Officer Wile. Michael was calm and did not give any indication that he was impaired. However, when confronted about the threats made to the librarians, Michael started talking about conspiracies involving the government and could not answer the question I asked about the threats he made,” McElroy wrote in his report. 

McElroy then told Collins he would be summonsed to court for threatening to commit a crime. 

Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached at drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter@drogers41008.

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