Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Paul PHANEUF (Assault w/ Dangerous Weapon)

On September 1, 2020, I was patrolling area East 2 for the Somerville Police Department. At approximately 12:07 AM, East 3, Ofc. Sousa, and I, were dispatched to 14 McGrath Highway (Star Market), for a male party with a knife threatening the reporting party’s husband. While en route, a description was given by dispatch of a white male wearing a tan shirt, jeans, glasses, and on a bike.

Upon arrival, I made contact with the victims XXXX and XXXX. XXXX was frantic saying that a male had just threatened to stab him and took off on a bike heading through the parking lot by the ice skating rink. I asked XXXX for a description, and he was able to provide me a picture of the suspect that he had taken on his phone. As I was sending out the picture to all East end units responding, I simultaneously was providing an updated detail description of the suspect. Ofc. Ruf was able to locate the individual matching that description. Please refer to his supplemental.

XXXX stated that while she was waiting in front of Star Market for XXXX, a male, later identified as Paul Phaneuf, approached her and began harassing her about a bag of medication that he had left there. When XXXX stated that she did not know what he was talking about, Phaneuf began to start tossing around shopping carts then walked away. When XXXX showed up, XXXX told him what had just happened. XXXX stated that as he was putting groceries into his van, Phaneuf approached the van and XXXX asked him why he felt the need to harass females. At this time, Phaneuf took a knife out of his backpack, brandished it at XXXX and stated “I’ll stick you”. Phaneuf then went around to the other side of the van, opened the driver’s side door and while XXXX was seated in the front passenger seat brandished the knife at her and stated “I’ll stick you”. XXXX grabbed a tool from his van and ran around the van chasing Phaneuf away from the vehicle. XXXX stated Phaneuf put the knife back in his backpack, grabbed a bike from the parking lot, and took off on the bike through the parking lot by the ice skating rink. XXXX described the knife as having a black handle and silver blade.

XXXX and XXXX were eager to leave and go home; they were advised before leaving the scene. Using the photo taken by XXXX, Ofc. Sousa was able to confirm that the male party they had detained was the suspect that brandished the knife.

Sgt. Marino recovered a knife with a black handle and silver blade from Phaneuf’s backpack, and Ofc. Sousa took control of the evidence box before handing it off to me. The knife was logged into evidence and a picture of it is attached to the report.

The picture that XXXX took of Phaneuf is attached to this report.

Respectfully submitted,
Officer Christine Bork #327
Somerville Police Department

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