Good Samaritans help Mass. officer arrest man who fled from crash, threatened to kill officer

Three civilians jumped in as the suspect put up a fight during an arrest. He "continued to scream, yell, kick and spit at other responding officers"

By Alvin Buyinza

MARSHFIELD, Mass. — A group of “good Samaritans” helped police arrest a Marshfield man who was resisting arrest after he fled the scene of a car crash on Saturday, police said.

James Michael Shields, 37, was arrested and charged with offenses including three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, resisting arrest and intimidating a police officer, according to the Marshfield police.

Shields’ bail was set at $10,000 on June 3, but after being arraigned in Plymouth District Court on Monday, his bail was lowered to $1,500, police said.

Around 5 p.m. on Saturday, Marshfield police officers were dispatched near Ferry Street and Clay Pit Road for a report of a car crash, police said.

One of the cars involved in the crash passed an officer, police said. The officer then followed the car near Furnace Street, but the car didn’t stop.

The car then accelerated and swerved in front of another vehicle, while shifting lanes, police said. The car, still with heavy damage from the accident, then turned right into a business parking lot on Plain Street and stopped.

The officer got out of his car to check on the driver of the damaged vehicle, Shields, who then started to walk away, police said.

Shields placed his right hand inside his sweatshirt and began swearing at the officer, police said. The officer tried to gain control of Shields, but he began to pull away.

Three people near the area helped the officer control Shields and place him in handcuffs, police said.

“Shields continued to fight with the officer and three civilians who bravely put their own safety aside to assist the officer,” police said. “Shields continued to scream, yell, kick and spit at other responding officers as they arrived on scene while a large crowd from the local businesses witnessed this.”

Shields continued to spit and swear at the officers, police said. While he was being booked, he threatened to kill one officer and his family. He also threatened to kill the initial responding officer and the officer who took him to the station.

“We are grateful beyond words to the three civilians who took it upon themselves with no regard for their own safety to assist the initial responding officer during this dangerous encounter,” police said.

Shields is being charged with the following: 

  • OUI Liquor 2nd Offense
  • Leaving the Scene Property Damage
  • Reckless Operation
  • Negligent Operation
  • Failure to Stop
  • Unsafe Operation of a motor vehicle
  • Speeding
  • Failure to signal
  • No Inspection Sticker
  • Failure to stop red light
  • Unsafe Lane Change
  • Marked Lanes
  • Resisting Arrest
  • A&B on Police Officer (5 Counts)
  • A&B Dangerous Weapon (3 Counts)
  • Intimidation Police Officer
  • Malicious and Wanton Damage to Property (2 Counts)
  • Threat to commit a crime (5 counts)
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Disturbing the Peace

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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