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Argument on primary night led to assault charge against Danvers selectman

Posted by Ryan Mooney  November 1, 2012 10:26 AM

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An argument that broke out inside Danvers Town Hall during the announcement of September election results is what led to a simple assault charge against Danvers selectmen Keith Lucy, according to documents made public by Salem District Court on Wednesday.

Lucy faces one charge of simple assault after Town Meeting member Jack Fratus took out a civilian complaint against him following the alleged incident on September 6, the night of the state primary elections.

The complaint led to a clerk magistrate's hearing on October 15, after which the clerk magistrate decided there was enough probable cause to pursue the matter in court.

In a written statement signed five days after the alleged incident, Fratus says that he was at Town Hall with his wife, Frances, and a friend, Julie Curtis of Danvers, to view election results when Lucy entered and "pushed in front of Julie Curtis." Fratus alleges that when his wife confronted Lucy about his manners, he began yelling at her.

"He was red in the face and looked angry," Fratus wrote in the complaint. "He took a step towards my wife while screaming at her."

Fratus alleges that he stepped in front of Lucy and told him multiple times to "back off my wife."

Fratus also claims that Lucy swung an open palm "within an inch" of his face before leaving Town Hall.

Lucy is scheduled to appear for arraignment on November 20. Simple assault is defined as placing a person in fear without physical contact, according to David Sweeney, first assistant clerk with Salem District Court.

Lucy's attorney ,Michael Smerczynski, of Peabody, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Multiple attempts to reach Fratus' attorney, John Slattery, also of Peabody, have been unsuccessful.

Lucy has been a selectman since 2004, and Fratus served on the Finance Committee in between his first term as a Town Meeting member, and his current stint representing Precinct 3. Both have terms set to expire on May 7, 2013.

Ryan Mooney can be reached at globe.mooney@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @mooney_ryan.

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