“I’m a peaceful person, trying to deal with personal issues,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s about my child and wife, who I love very much. It’s time for closure and to try to move on with my life.”
But McDougall faces five other charges peripherally related to that incident.
After he went to the fire station and confronted fire Chief Kevin Breen, he was issued a written warning in mid-July not to contact anyone involved in the case, under threat of further charges.
“Please be advised that should you not abide by this notice, you could face prosecution for felony witness tampering,” Salem police prosecutor Jason Grosky wrote July 13.
But when a Salem police officer went to the McDougall home in late August to serve a subpoena on Jane McDougall, ordering her to appear as a witness for the prosecution in her husband’s case, things deteriorated further.
Patrick McDougall told the officer his wife was sleeping and blamed police for “breaking up his family,” according to an affidavit in the case.
A few days later, Breen notified police that McDougall had shown up at the Central Firehouse, seeking information about the right to refuse ambulance service. Breen told police he was braced for a physical confrontation after McDougall appeared to be ready for that.
That confrontation resulted in four new charges, two felony witness tampering charges, one for disorderly conduct and a fourth charge of criminal threatening. At the same time, McDougall was charged with another witness tampering count, also a felony, as a result of the confrontation at his home when police tried to serve his wife with the subpoena.
Those charges are still pending. McDougall said yesterday he could not comment on those five charges.
But, given the judge’s ruling Friday, he said he could speak to the original misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.