ROWLEY – A former local business owner escaped jail time Wednesday after admitting in Newburyport District Court that a judge or jury could find him guilty of threatening an employee with a baseball bat earlier this year.

Edward Delloiacono, 61, of Cranebrook Way, Peabody, was charged in June with assault with a dangerous weapon and threatening to commit a crime after an encounter with an employee he was about to fire April 18, according to court records.

Judge Allen Swan ordered both charges continued without a finding for a year and told the Rowley business owner to have no contact with the man he threatened. 

Delloiacono was also ordered not to abuse the man, not to possess any firearms and to undergo a mental health evaluation. If Delloiacono remains out of trouble with the law and adheres to all conditions, the charges will be dropped after a year. 

At the time of the incident, Delloiacono owned Atlantic Auto Solutions on Route 1 but when police arrived there at 10:45 p.m. on April 18, there was a sign saying the business was “closed due to an illness,” according to a report written by Rowley police Officer Patrick McGettrick. 

Minutes earlier, a witness called police to say there was a man outside the business waving a 2-foot-long wooden object in a threatening manner at a man fleeing the parking lot in a Jeep. McGettrick went into the business where he saw Delloiacono and what looked like a baseball bat. 

“I secured the wooden object from Delloiacono and had him have a seat,” McGettrick wrote in his report. 

The employee was stopped by Officer Eric Forni, who told the officer that when he came to work that morning, Delloiacono greeted him holding the bat and told him to “get the (expletive) out of here.”  Fearing for his safety, the man ran out of the business and left in the Jeep. 

The victim told police he had been warned by another employee that Delloiacono was furious with him and threatened to attack not only him, but other employees with a bat and a machete. 

“Delloiacono admitted that he did wave the object at (the victim) to get him off the property but could not tell us why he did not want him there nor did he speak on the threats from the night before. Delloiacono just kept explaining that he was firing (the victim),” McGettrick wrote in his report. 

McGettrick and Forni searched the office and found a machete. 

As a result of the threat and the confiscation of the bat and machete, Delloiacono was summonsed to court. 

In court Wednesday, Delloiacono’s attorney, David L’Esperance, told Swan that his client was unemployed. 

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