HAVERHILL — Two men have been indicted for following a husband and wife out of a cemetery and beating the husband with a baseball bat and a pool cue, police said.
Police said the men wore dark clothes and ski masks during the assault. They attacked the man after having several arguments with his son, who works as a doorman at a downtown Haverhill bar where he refused one of the men entry one night, police said.
The men also were involved in an unrelated incident downtown, where one of them attacked a man with a baseball bat, police said. The victim told investigators a gun also was pointed at him during the attack, police said. Officers arrested the men and found a gun and ammunition in their car, police said.
Jay Driscoll, 39, of 97 Pilling St., Haverhill, and Jason Rowan, 31, of 11 Dutton Road, Pelham, N.H., were indicted on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery by the Essex County grand jury, said Stephen O'Connell, spokesman for the Essex County district attorney's office.
Police said a string of incidents that began in late December escalated into the Jan. 4 attack that left the bar doorman's father with facial cuts and contusions.
Haverhill Detective Daniel McDonald said the doorman refused entry to Rowan one night in late December because Rowan was intoxicated. The doorman and Rowan encountered each other on the streets on two other occasions, one of which led to a verbal altercation in a nearby New Hampshire town, police said. The second encounter between the men, in front of a Wingate Street bar the night of Dec. 26, led to a fight in which police said the doorman was struck by Rowan, who used brass knuckles.
Several days later, on Jan. 4, the doorman and his parents observed the one-year anniversary of the death of a friend by going to the cemetery where he was buried, police said. Rowan and Driscoll followed the group to the cemetery, and then followed the doorman's parents to their home, police said.
When the doorman's father pulled into the driveway, a car with Rowan and Driscoll inside, stopped at the end of the driveway and the two got out wearing dark clothes and ski masks and confronted the father, police said.
Words were exchanged and the two men attacked the father with a baseball bat and a pool cue, McDonald said.
The father told police he thought he also saw a police baton during the attack, which left him with facial cuts requiring stitches to close.
In an unrelated incident two days later, on Sunday, Jan. 6, Rowan, Driscoll and two female companions were arrested at 1:30 a.m. after an altercation on Essex Street involving them and a Haverhill man. The man told police the four drove by in a car and yelled an insult at him and he yelled back. The car then stopped and backed up, he said.
The man told police Driscoll got out of the car and struck him with a bat, but that he wrestled the bat away from Driscoll. He said Driscoll jumped back into the car, and then a second man in the car pointed a handgun at the man.
Police said when they arrived and were trying to sort things out, Rowan flashed a badge and told them he was a police officer, too. Police said they found a loaded .22-caliber, semiautomatic pistol under the driver's seat. Rowan was charged with illegal possession of a firearm, disorderly conduct, driving while under the influence of alcohol, assault with a dangerous weapon and impersonating a police officer.
Driscoll was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Nichole Rowan, 29, 11 Dutton Road, Pelham, N.H., was charged with illegal possession of ammunition and accessory after the fact of a felony. Deanna Gath, 29, also of 11 Dutton Road, Pelham, N.H., was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and accessory after the fact of a felony.
Police said they seized two Massachusetts constable badges, the baseball bat and the pistol with two magazines containing .22-caliber ammunition. They said they also found a small plastic bag containing what they believe to be cocaine from Rowan's jacket pocket.
McDonald said while the two men were in jail on the Lawrence charges, he filed warrants with the court for the Haverhill charges.
Rowan and Driscoll were able to make bail and are now awaiting trial in Superior Court, police said. The two women were released and are awaiting trial in Lawrence District Court.