A late night argument over cutting in line at Stubby’s prompted a chaotic brawl on Broad Street earlier this month that ended with an off-duty Swansea, Mass. police officer facing charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
The fight left the off-duty officer bloodied and requiring medical attention at Nantucket Cottage Hospital, as he was attacked and suffered significant injuries during the brawl, but was also observed by multiple Nantucket police officers assaulting an individual by throwing him to the ground and kicking him.
According to police reports obtained by the Current through a Freedom of Information Act request, the fight began around 1:17 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3. All available Nantucket Police Department units on duty that night and State Police Troopers were called to respond, as the fight broke out among a large crowd of people who had gathered on Broad Street for late-night food.
The reports, which included interviews with multiple witnesses and those involved in the melee, indicated the initial fight occurred after Daniel Walsh - a member of the Swansea Police Department who was off-duty - had words with two people who were attempting to cut in line at Stubby’s. Portions of the initial altercation were captured on security video cameras located inside Stubby’s and on Broad Street, which showed Walsh engaged with several individuals.
Witnesses told police Walsh was flashing his badge during the incident, while telling people he was an off-duty police officer and “undercover.”
Walsh was on Broad Street that night with two off-duty members of the Nantucket Police Department - Sergeant John Rockett and Detective Amanda Schwenk - who attempted to break-up the fight, remove Walsh from the area, and provide him with medical aid. Their actions were described in the reports by their fellow officers, as well as their own written statements regarding the incident.
After the initial altercation in which Walsh was assaulted and sustained a significant injury to his eye, numerous Nantucket police officers responded to the scene. Rockett informed them that Walsh was an off-duty police officer, and urged his colleagues to find the people who had attacked him. As the responding officers assessed the situation, it appeared as if the fight had ended, but then Walsh went after an individual he thought had assaulted him, according to the reports. Nantucket Police officers observed him grab the male by his sweatshirt, pull him to the ground, and then kick him while he was down.
“At this time, I observed Walsh wind-up and kick a male party that was on the ground in the shoulder and head area with a shod foot,” officer Nicholas Iacozzi wrote in his report.
After this second altercation, Sgt. Rockett escorted Walsh away from the crowd and attempted to treat his injuries with Schwenk before driving him to Nantucket Cottage Hospital. Rockett later called the on-duty shift supervisor, Sgt. Janine Mauldin, to notify her of what happened and that Walsh had been taken to the hospital.
Walsh was charged with disorderly conduct, assault and battery, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He was issued a summons to appear in court, and the matter will go before a clerk magistrate for a show cause hearing later this year. Two people who were allegedly attacked by Walsh told police the following day that they did not wish to press charges, but Nantucket Police officers informed them the charges would move forward and they would have to inform the court that they do not intend to pursue them.
Nantucket Police Department Lt. Angus MacVicar said the individuals who assaulted Walsh have not been identified, and confirmed that no member of NPD had been charged, discplined, or is under internal investigation as a result of the incident.
“Nothing good happens after midnight on Broad Street,” MacVicar said.