Court: Suspect In 2021 Police Standoff On Polpis Road Found Guilty

David Creed •

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Police outside the Frable residence during the 2021 police standoff on Polpis Road. Photo by Jason Graziadei

The former island resident at the center of a 2021 police standoff on Polpis Road has resolved the plethora of criminal cases he was facing during a Tuesday afternoon court session.

Jeffrey Frable, 66, of Cambridge, was ordered to serve 176 days in the Barnstable House of Corrections after being found guilty of an Aug. 9, 2021 charge of violating an abuse prevention order. However, all 176 days were deemed served by the court for previous jail time served by Frable while this case was open - meaning he has been released and has no more prison time to serve. All fees and fines were remitted.

Six other charges ranging from violation of abuse prevention orders, trespassing, resisting arrest, and witness intimidation were dismissed as part of the plea.

According to the police report from the August 9, 2021 incident, Nantucket Police Detective Derek Witherell said that an abuse prevention order was issued by former Nantucket District Court Judge Thomas S. Barrett at 11:59 a.m. that day for Frable to stay away from the victim in the case. Witherell then called Frable to alert him that he has paperwork for him and told Frable he could come to the station to be served. Frable proceeded to tell Witherell that he was "at his house" and "not leaving his home to pick up paperwork" before hanging up.

Witherell attempted to call Frable several more times but his phone was shut off - sending Witherell straight to Frable's voicemail.

Witherell said he arrived at Frable's residence with other NPD officers and members of the Massachusetts State Police. There were open windows throughout the home and Witherell said he called out to Frable several times about 30 feet away from the home. He reiterated that they had paperwork for him. MSP Sgt. Robert Bates told Witherell he saw Frable proceed to move from the first floor up to what appeared to be the upstairs of the residence through a front glass door.

Witherell, through a loud speaker, read the abuse order verbatim in the direction of the home and after finishing, advised Frable to leave the home three separate times. Frable didn't exit the residence.

This led to an hours-long standoff in which a Nantucket Police SWAT team and State Police Troopers surrounded the Polpis Road home with guns drawn. The incident began around 2 p.m. and ended just after 6 p.m. No shots ended up being fired, however Frable was taken into custody and transported by ambulance to Nantucket Cottage Hospital.

Police said at the time that Frable was armed with two knives during the standoff. A K9 unit from the Barnstable Police Department that was ferried to the island was used to subdue him. Frable was alone in the house during the standoff, Nantucket Police Lt. Angus MacVicar said the day of the incident.

In other Nantucket District Court news, Cesar Javier Lopez, 21, of Nantucket, was arraigned on a July 3 charge of negligent operation of a motor vehicle. He had a not-guilty plea entered on his behalf and was ordered to return to court Oct. 16 for a pretrial hearing.

Devon Murphy, 48, of Nantucket, will have a Jan. 26 charge of assault & battery continued without a finding for six months. A charge of intimidating a witness/juror/police/court official stemming from the same incident was dismissed.

Byron Thomas, 37, of Bronx, NY, was arraigned on Aug. 7 charges of assault & battery and assault with a dangerous weapon. He had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf and was ordered to return to court Oct. 2 for a pretrial hearing.

Leonardo David Tobar Escobar, 28, of Nantucket, had April 8 charges of assault & battery on a pregnant victim and assault on a family/household member dismissed due to lack of prosecution after the alleged victim in the case declined to cooperate with the Cape & Islands District Attorney's Office.

Alex Roth Zarlenga, 38, of Nantucket, will have a June 20 charge of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol (second offense) continued without a finding for one year. This plea was a Cahill Disposition because Zarlenga's first OUI was over 10 years ago. This unique disposition allows this new OUI charge Zarlenga is facing to be treated as a first offense charge.

Zarlenga was ordered to complete a driver alcohol education program and forfeit his license for 45 days. He was also ordered to pay a $250 head-injury fee and $50 OUI assessment fee. A charge of negligent operation of a motor vehicle stemming from the same incident was dismissed.

*All defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty under a court of law*

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