BOSTON — A judge Wednesday refused to drop an unarmed robbery charge against a Maine financial representative police said frightened an elderly Back Bay widower on St. Patrick’s Day weekend when, in a drunken and bloody stupor, he tried to bust down the wrong door — twice.
“A residence where an elderly person was awakened and startled? I’m not dismissing this,” Boston Municipal Court Judge Mark Hart Summerville barked at Craig H. Leach’s arraignment when a Suffolk assistant district attorney asked that the robbery charge be dismissed for lack of evidence.
Summerville agreed to arraign Leach, 24, on charges of malicious destruction of property and disturbing the peace. He told the prosecutor he’d have to file a nolle prosequi on the unarmed robbery charge if he didn’t plan to pursue it at trial.
Leach, a Vermont native now living in Kittery, Maine, pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance with the condition he have no contact with the alleged victim, an 82-year-old retiree.
Police said when Leach was arrested he had a broken nose and blood on his face and hands, but could not account for how he was injured, according to court records.
The alleged victim told police he was asleep shortly before midnight March 16 when he was startled by “banging noise,” breaking glass and someone yelling, “[Expletive] you!” over and over.
“It was traumatizing,” the octogenarian told the Herald. “I told him, ‘I’m calling police,’ and that didn’t help. I was yelling, ‘Get out! Get out!’ I wasn’t even dressed because I’d gotten out of bed. Good thing he didn’t have any weapon. Later on you think, ‘Boy, it could have been really tragic.’ ”
The man said it cost him $200 to replace glass in the first doors Leach is accused of forcing his way through into a foyer, and that Leach also kicked his way through a second set of doors into his hallway.
“When he broke the first door I called police and they said they were on the way, so I thought there wouldn’t be a second attempt,” he said. “I was coming down the stairs in my pajamas when I saw him and he saw me. He made a couple steps toward me. I asked, ‘Who are you looking for?’ No response at all.”
Leach’s lawyer told Summerville his client was in Boston for a reunion and became so drunk he was separated from his buddies.
“We are, at this point, admitting that he was highly intoxicated,” the attorney said. “He was returning from a pub and had no idea where he was. It was an innocent, albeit stupid, incident.”
Distributed by MCT Information Services