Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Richard WHEELER (ADW, Disorderly)on McGrath Highway

The following is a summary of the details related to this incident.

On February 20, 2018 at approximately 20:11 hours, while assigned as marked unit East-2, I was dispatched to XXXX’s located at XX McGrath Highway for a report of a dispute between two patrons.  While traveling to the above location, dispatch updated that one of the parties involved in the dispute made mention of having a gun.  I arrived on scene with marked units East-3 Officer Soares, East-1 Officer Schneider, Sector West Officer Collazo, and Tango-9 Officer Lorenti.  Upon arrival the two parties involved in the altercation were separated and identified as XXXX and Richard Wheeler.  The manager of the business, YYYY, informed officers that Wheeler was the aggressor and made mention of having a gun.  Wheeler was frisked for officer safety and nothing recovered.  Richard Wheeler remained visibly  upset and continued to scream and disrupt business despite attempts by officers to calm him down.  Due to his boisterous demeanor to include flailing arms and continued yelling in the crowded restaurant, he had to be escorted outside.

The manager, YYYY, states that while XXXX was attempting to order food, Wheeler became very aggressive towards him and began to scream at him.  YYYY states that at some point the altercation became physical and there was shoving between both parties.  When the shoving stopped, YYYY states that Wheeler backed away from XXXX, motioned to his waistband, and stated, “Go outside I have a gun I’ll shoot you!” YYYY states that there were numerous customers in the restaurant at the time who heard this and she became very fearful that Wheeler had a gun so she screamed for one of her employees to call 911.  Another XXXX’s employee who was working at the counter, ZZZZ, heard Wheeler make this statement as well and believed him to have a gun.

I then spoke with XXXX.  XXXX states that Wheeler became very confrontational with him because he was wearing sunglasses and Wheeler asked him to remove them and XXXX would not.  XXXX states that he was attacked by Wheeler and described the manner in which the confrontation became physical.  According to XXXX, Wheeler came at him in a pushing shoving motion and XXXX did his best to deflect the attack.  He states that Wheeler then motioned to his hip/waist band and stated, “I have a gun let’s go outside I’ll shoot you right now!”.  XXXX reports that he became fearful and believed Wheeler to have a gun on his person.

With this information, I asked Wheeler to explain what happened.  Wheeler states that he believes XXXX is a child molester and wanted to fight him.  When asked to explain why he thought this or if he had ever met XXXX previously, Wheeler began to ramble incoherent sentences.   It should be noted that Wheeler smelled of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet.  I asked Wheeler if he ever made mention of having a gun and he denied making such statements or ever having a gun.

Wheeler was placed into handcuffs without incident and Unit #200 operated by Officer Hartsgrove transported him to headquarters.  Wheeler is charged with violation of M.G.L. ch. 272 §53 Disorderly Conduct.  Wheeler was booked by SGT Isidoro.  It should be noted that no firearm was recovered from Wheeler and he states that at no point was he in possession of one.  A search of the area to include trash barrels in the vicinity yielded no weapon.  Witnesses report that from the time that Wheeler made mention of having a gun to the time officers arrived he remained in the business and did not go outside at any time.

Respectfully submitted,

Officer Anderson #315

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