Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Joseph NORMAN (FIREARM, CARRY WITHOUT LICENSE, AMMUNITION WITHOUT FID CARD, POSSESS, A&B ON POLICE OFFICER, RESISTING ARREST)

On August 29, 2020 I was working Patrol on the last half shift assigned to Cruiser E4. At around 0113 I, along with other Officers were dispatched to XX Sydney ST, Floor 2 for a “dispute” involving a “male screaming about a gun.”

I arrived first and was met by Mr. XXXX (XXXX) infront of the involved address. Mr. XXXX was instructing an unknown female, who refused to identify, to return inside the house in question. I would learn this female was the sister of Mr. XXXX and the daughter of the RP, Ms. XXXX (XXXX.) I asked Mr. XXXX what was going on and he said that the people on the third floor may have called (the police) over some “crazy shit.” I asked him several times to clarify what he meant but he refused. I was then notified by dispatch that the suspect we were looking for was Mr. Joe Norman (XXXX) who is known to the SPD and is known to carry firearms. I asked Mr. XXXX if he knew if the suspect and he said “no.” I asked Mr. XXXX about a firearm being involved with anything and he would not respond. I tried speaking to Mr. XXXX sister but she refused to tell me anything of value other then there was no firearm involved in anything. At this time other Officers arrived to include OFC D Ruf (E1), OFC R Hartsgrove (E3) and SGT P Anderson (S8.) OFC Ruf, who was familiar with the suspect, asked Mr. XXXX if the suspect was “Joe Norman” and Mr. XXXX said yes.

I informed Officers on scene that I was going inside the dwelling to speak to the RP. I found Ms. XXXX on the landing outside the door to unit 2 (where her, Mr. XXXX and the unknown female all live.) She was visually upset. I asked her to tell me what happened. She would go on to tell me, during this first conversation and other conversations with me while on scene that the suspect is the daughter’s boyfriend. He had arrived with the daughter this evening and was acting “crazy.” I asked her to clarify and she told me that he was “upset.” She also fells that Mr. Norman may suffer from some sort of mental disorder. Later, she walked by her daughter’s bedroom and found Mr. Norman sitting on the bed holding a “gun.” Ms. XXXX reports that he was “playing” with it and it seemed “jammed.” She confronted Mr. Norman and ordered him to leave her house. Some words were exchanged and Mr. Norman began to act belligerent. Mr. Norman gave the RP a “hug” at which time the RP disarmed Mr. Norman. The RP then called 911 and Mr. Norman fled. Ms. XXXX then stowed the firearm under the kitchen sink. After learning this I requested that Ms. XXXX show me where the gun was for safety purposes. She led me to the kitchen and opened a door under the sink. In this area was the firearm. I called OFC Ruf to assist me in documenting and securing the firearm which we did. The firearm in question is a Jennings Firearms Inc model J22, .22 Long Rifle (SN 021557), complete with a mag. Also in the weapon were four (4) rounds of what appear to be .22 cal. One round was chambered when cleared (firearm/mag/rounds property tag number (20041711-1.) The serial number does not return anything when searched at this time.

A backpack belonging to Mr. Norman was found outside the house. I secured it and its contents as found property. Nothing of evidentiary value was found inside when searched. No involved party would give me a description or direction of flight for Mr. Norman. I thanked Ms. XXXX for her assistance and informed her to call 911 again if she encounters Mr. Norman as he may be carrying another firearm and could be in need of assistance.

At around 0430 I, along with other Officers were again dispatched to XX Sydney ST for a “suspicious person” (20041720.) Dispatch informed us that Mr. Joe Norman (XXXX), the suspect from the firearm call regarding this address earlier in the night, had returned.

Upon arrival I witnessed Mr. Norman standing on the sidewalk directly infront of the adress. His hands were in his waistband/pocket area. I exited my cruiser, approached him and said “Mr. Norman.” He then turned in my direction, having removed his hands from his pocket/waist band area. His stance now was in a position that his shoulders were squared, his fists were clenched and he just stared at me with no response. At this point I recognized him with absolute certainty. I informed him that he was under arrest and placed my hands on his left arm to secure him. He pulled away and I ordered him to stop moving. He then attempted to return his right hand back into his pocket/waistband area. At this time I used an arm bar take down in order to secure his person to the ground in the hopes that he would use his right hand to break his fall, thus disengaging any item he may have been attempting to retrieve. As I did this, he pulled me forward and we both fell to the ground with him landing on his back and me on top of him. He began to resist my initial attempts to secure his hands. He also refused several of my lawful orders to stop fighting/resisting. I secured the other handcuff (both in front) after a few more moments of fighting. At this time, residents from floor 2, who had been on the front porch, came down to the sidewalk and a verbal argument ensued. I stood Mr. Norman up and began to try to move him away from the residents of floor 2 as all parities involved were becoming very exited. After standing Mr. Norman up, he slammed his upper body area into my chest. I then placed Mr. Norman back on the ground. At this moment I reached for my radio to expedite back up. However, when I reached for my radio, it was not there. I glanced around and noticed my radio was several feet from where I initially placed Mr. Norman on the ground. Without my knowledge, either my radio, radio case and mic either fell off in the struggle or Mr. Norman forcefully removed said items during the fight. During this event I received several cuts and other wounds to multiple fingers, my right wrist and my right arm which were treated on scene by SFD. Back up arrived to include OFC R Hartsgrove (E3), OFC D Ruf (E1) and SGT P Anderson (S8.) OFC N Moreira (E2) assisted me in placing the suspects hands behind him and the cuffs were double locked. We stood the suspect up to place him in the back seat of my cruiser and Mr. Norman attempted to headbut me. We had to use force to get him into the cruiser. Transport Unit 200 and SPD/Cataldo were then requested.

From the time I was putting Mr. Norman into custody and until he was secured in Transport Unit 200, he was yelling obscenities and requested several times that I “take these off” (cuffs.) He was yelling other things that I could not make out. Mr. Norman was transported in the usual way by OFC J Rivera (200/SM2.) I spoke to Ms. XXXX, Mr. XXXX and the now identified Ms. XXXX (suspects girlfriend/RPs daughter.) Ms. XXXX told me that at around 0430 she entered her kitchen to get something to drink. While doing this, she found her daughter also in the house who informed Ms. XXXX that Mr. Norman was back. He was located on the second floor balcony by Ms. XXXX who ordered him to leave. Mr. XXXX then appeared and ordered Mr. Norman to do the same. Mr. Norman “jumped” from the second floor porch as Ms. XXXX then called 911. According to Mr. XXXX, Mr. Norman said he was back to get his “stuff.” At this point all three residents came downstairs to confront and/or move along Mr. Norman as Ms. XXXX had already called 911. Mr. XXXX statements to me were in line with Ms. XXXX version of events. Ms. XXXXX refused to speak with me. Mr. XXXX would also tell me that he things Mr. XXXX claimed a tree in front of their house in order to access he second floor.

At booking, Mr. Norman was extremely uncooperative. He was placed under arrest for the following charges: Assault and Battery on a Police Officer (MGL 265/13D/A); Firearm, Carry Without A License (MGL 269/10/J); Ammunition Without FID Card, Possess (MGL 269/10/TT) and Resisting Arrest (MGL 268/32B.)

Very respectfully,

Officer Michael Cleary #353
Somerville PD

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