AMESBURY — A Stoughton woman was arraigned Wednesday in Newburyport District Court a day after she was arrested on the Whittier Bridge on a domestic abuse charge.

Susan Rooney, 72, of Turnpike Street was arrested about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday after her car broke down and she then got into a heated exchange with a state trooper. In addition to disorderly conduct, Rooney was charged with assault and battery on a family/household member and assault with a dangerous weapon.

The assault charge, according to police, is based on Rooney picking up a metal pipe and threatening to hit a man sitting behind the wheel. Rooney dropped the pipe, however, when she saw Trooper Joseph Lamusta approaching her, according to his report.

When Lamusta arrived, he saw her walking beside the car as it moved slowly across the bridge in the breakdown lane. The car eventually stopped.

“She then grabbed a large black metal pipe off the road, raised it and attempted to swing it at the vehicle violently. As she was doing this she noticed my cruiser and dropped the pipe,” Lamusta wrote in his report, adding she claimed she had been hit and abused by the man in the car.

The man behind the wheel admitted pushing Rooney away with his right arm as he was driving with his left arm but told Lamusta he did it to stop her from hitting him. As this was taking place, Rooney walked into a patch of tall grass and refused to come out.

“Vehicles were swerving around us and a broken down vehicle was in a very dangerous area on the Whittier Bridge while this incident was happening,” Lamusta wrote in his report.

Rooney eventually emerged from the grass and told Lamusta she wanted the man behind the wheel out of her life because she was tough and could handle herself.

“As I followed her alongside the guard rail, I grabbed her arm and she began to yell and scream that I was hurting her and abusing her,” Lamusta wrote in his report.

Moments later, Lamusta told her she was under arrest for domestic assault and battery. She resisted when Lamusta and another trooper handcuffed her. Inside Lamusta’s cruiser, Rooney began kicking and yelling with enough force to shake the cruiser. During booking at the Newbury barracks, the trooper smelled alcohol on her breath.

Assisting Lamusta at the scene were three other troopers, according to his report.

At Rooney’s arraignment, Judge Allen Swan released her on personal recognizance but ordered her not to abuse the victim. Rooney is due back in court on Nov. 30 for a pretrial hearing.

Dave Rogers is a reporter with the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

Dave Rogers is a reporter with the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008. 

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