THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Officer is acquitted in assault, threat case

Ruling cites video of Framingham sergeant’s actions

By Megan McKee
Globe Correspondent / March 26, 2011

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After a two-week trial, Framingham police Sergeant Scott Brown was found not guilty Wednesday in Lowell Superior Court of assault with a dangerous weapon and threatening to commit a crime.

Prosecutors said Brown threatened and pointed a gun at a storage facility worker after the worker’s wife confronted him for urinating on the facility’s lawn.

Judge Paul Chernoff ruled that a security video did not prove the worker’s allegation that Brown pointed a gun at him, and that instead of saying “move it or get shot,’’ Brown likely said “move your [expletive] cart,’’ referring to the worker’s golf cart.

Although Chernoff called Brown’s action “unprofessional uttering of those inflammatory, inappropriate words,’’ he said the statement, by law, wouldn’t constitute a threat.

“I’m really happy that the truth finally came out,’’ Brown said in an interview. “I openly admit to making poor decisions, but certainly did not threaten anyone.’’

Brown’s lawyer, Timothy M. Burke, said: “My client is the most highly decorated police officer in the history of Framingham and certainly would never have drawn his weapon or threatened the individual as was contended. I think the video evidence was clear.’’

Chernoff wrote in his conclusion that Brown could have avoided the whole criminal matter had he “used available public facilities rather than trespass deep into private property,’’ and could have deescalated the situation.

“Rather than demonstrating patience and civility, he yielded to the emotions of the moment with rude and discourteous behavior as he admitted in open court,’’ Chernoff wrote.

Burke said Brown admitted on the stand that he had acted unprofessionally and that “the situation is a learning process for everyone concerned.’’

A Framingham Police Department spokesman, Lieutenant Ron Brandolini, said Brown will be back to work within a week or two after the chief clears him to return, and declined further comment.

Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said in a prepared statement that he and his staff “considered all the evidence available to us, presented the best possible case on behalf of the victims, and remain confident with the facts that were presented to us on which we built our case.’’

“Ultimately, our hope and intention remains that this matter demonstrates that no one is above the law,’’ he said.

The district attorney alleged that on April 29, 2010, Brown was working in plainclothes and in an unmarked car when a woman saw him urinating on private property. When she asked him what he was doing, Brown allegedly told her to “stop looking,’’ the district attorney’s office said.

The woman’s husband approached Brown and his partner, who by then were in their car, and asked them what they were doing. Brown then got out of the car.

The worker alleged that at that point, Brown said “move it or get shot’’ and brandished his gun.

Megan McKee can be reached at megan.mckee@gmail.com.

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