An Ipswich man, who allegedly carried the mother of his daughter out into a Gloucester street in front of an oncoming dump truck, had a “demonic” expression on his face as he lifted her off the ground, according to court records.
Michael Baker appeared before a Gloucester District Court judge Monday to face several charges, including attempted murder and assault and battery.
His arraignment came three days after the incident played out on Washington Street with the pair’s 7-year-old daughter inside a nearby SUV.
“I don’t know what happened,” Baker, 40, told authorities hours after the Friday morning crash, according to police reports. “We played in traffic. It was a bipolar episode.”
Baker was held without bail, the court clerk’s office told Boston.com. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.
Gloucester police said first responders arrived at the scene at 11 a.m. for a report of a motor vehicle collision involving pedestrians. Baker and a woman were found lying in the road.
According to a report by Det. Jonathan Trefry, the driver of the dump truck had pulled over and called 911 after the crash. He told police he was driving north on Washington Street when he saw the pair standing on the side of the street.
He watched the man, later identified as Baker, pick the woman up “almost over (his) shoulder” and run out in the path of his truck, Trefry wrote. Despite swerving to avoid hitting them, the driver struck both of them, he told officials.
“(The driver) said that he knew that (Baker) saw his truck coming and he thought (Baker) was trying to position himself and the female directly in front of his truck,” Trefry wrote.
Baker, who received serious but non-life threatening injuries, was flown by medical helicopter to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and underwent an operation, court records indicate.
The woman, who suffered scrapes and abrasions to her foot, leg, and back, was brought to Beverly Hospital, files show.
She told police she was picking up her daughter from Baker’s mother’s house before the crash. Baker was possibly under the influence of either alcohol or drugs, she said.
He attempted to stop them from leaving in her SUV and she exited the vehicle to speak with him, she told authorities, adding that they recently had child custody disputes.
“He then stopped mid-sentence, his facial expression became ‘demonic,’ and he grabbed her in a ‘football manuevered’ (sic) with his arms under her arms,” Trefry wrote in his report. “He then lifted her off the ground. She heard screeching and saw the grill of a truck. The next thing (she) remembered was being on the ground and screaming for help.”
At the scene, she allegedly told police that the truck driver was not at fault, according to reports.
Referencing Baker, she said: “He did this. He threw me in front of the truck.”
Baker, who was taken from his hospital bed to appear before a judge Monday, made several statements about the incident to hospital staff, at one point telling them he thinks he was “rohypied” and wanting to know what substances were in his body, according to a police report on file in court.
“This is out of character for me, I am a family man and a professor …. This is the craziest thing I have done in my 40 years of existence,” he said, according to a police report.
Michael Baker appeared in a Gloucester courthouse cut up and in a hospital gown. The 40-year-old is accused of dragging his daughter’s mother into oncoming traffic on Friday. He’s being held without pail pending a psych evaluation. #WBZ pic.twitter.com/e8FJbivrjJ
— Kristina Rex (@KristinaRex) April 22, 2019
Baker was also charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
An attorney representing Baker did not immediately return a request for comment Monday afternoon.
Baker is scheduled to appear in court again on April 29.