Snow Blower Attack: Feud Between Two Sexagenarian Women Escalates

124-126 Park Avenue in Arlington, where the alleged snowblower attack occurred. Hilary Sargent/Boston.com

This story has been updated with additional information.

The Arlington police report, which reads like an episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, says the charge is “assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.’’

No kidding. That weapon? A “hand held Electric Toro Power Shovel.’’ A snow blower.

At 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Arlington police responded to a 911 call made by a woman claiming to have been attacked by a neighbor wielding a snow blower.

Barbara Davis, 61, was arrested after allegedly attacking her 60-year-old neighbor, causing “minor injuries.’’

Davis, a financial advisor for Edward Jones in Burlington, is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, as well as mayhem and violating a harassment prevention order.


“This is unusual for Arlington. These kinds of incidents are few and far between,’’ Arlington Police Department Capt. Richard Flynn said. “We will deal with other snow arguments today, but to rise to this level is uncommon for this community.’’

Robert Harnais, Davis’ defense attorney, told Boston.com that his client was released from custody after being arraigned Thursday morning in Cambridge District Court.

“This was no snowblower … It was an electrical broom.’’ Harnais said. “You’re gonna hear different stories from different sides.’’

Jackie Goddard, a spokesperson for the Middlesex County District Attorney’s office, told Boston.com that Davis has no previous criminal record.

Goddard said Davis was released without posting bail, and was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim or witnesses.

The only witness to the alleged attack, who asked not to be identified, told Boston.com he heard Davis shouting and came outside.

“Her foot went right into the machine. I thought she lost her foot. I thought it would come out mangled. I was in shock,’’ he said. “They used to be friends.’’

The police report offers some additional details:

“[The victim] stated that she went outside on the front stairs to speak with Barbara Davis, a joint condo owner at 124 Park Ave. [The victim] stated Davis was snow blowing and the snow was going onto her side of the deeded property. [The victim] stated Davis started swearing at her and called her a “[expletive deleted].’’ Davis also made an [sic] mocking attempt to throw a punch in [the victim]’s direction. Davis then moved toward her and used the snow blower to deliberately run it onto [The victim]’s right foot, causing her injury. [The victim] was wearing just a sock on her foot at the time … Davis voluntarily stated that she had an argument with [the victim] regarding the placement of snow on their deeded property. Davis stated she made a “fake punch’’ attempt at her to get [the victim] away from her. [The victim] then did the same to her so she pushed the snow blower in her the direction of her foot and ran it over.’’

Davis and the victim occupy side-by-side units in the two-unit duplex. The victim bought her unit in 1999. Davis bought hers in 2011.


The victim told Boston.com the relationship started out as friendly, and that she used to babysit Davis’s dog. But, the victim said, things turned ugly when she told Davis she would no longer be able to help care for the dog.

“She said, ‘I hate you.’ It’s been bad ever since,’’ the victim said.

Barbara Davis

Flynn confirmed that Arlington police have been called to the home on 11 separate occasions since August 2013. He said complaints between Davis and the victim have ranged from issues related to parking, bicycle storage, and animal issues.

Davis was served with a harassment prevention order in February 2014, according to Flynn. That order was set to expire this February.

John Boul, manager of global media relations for Edward Jones, Davis’s employer, told Boston.com that Davis has been employed by the financial services firm since 2008.

“We are reviewing the incident,’’ Boul said.

Joe Balich owns the 5 & 10 store located less than two blocks from 124 Park Ave.

“It’s a very safe neighborhood. I’ve been here since 1984 and I haven’t seen any assaults or anything at all. It’s the type of community that rallies,’’ Balich said.


Jim Donvan owns Firefly Moon, a gift shop across the street from Balich’s store.

“It’s more sad than anything that two neighbors could get to that point,’’ Donvan said, calling the attack “bizarre’’ and “unlike anything you’d expect around here.’’

Davis’s bail was set at $35,040, and she remained in police custody as of Wednesday afternoon. Courts in eastern Massachusetts remained closed on Wednesday due to the storm. Davis will be arraigned on Thursday in Cambridge District Court.


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