MERRIMAC — A longtime patrolman, recently decorated for his success in removing drunken drivers from the road, was placed on paid administrative leave earlier this month shortly after his arrest in Boston.
Stephen A. Ringuette of North Andover was arrested Feb. 2 in downtown Boston and charged with assault and battery. He was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court two days later and is due back in court Thursday for a pre-trial hearing, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Office spokesman Jake Wark.
Merrimac police Chief Eric Shears would not confirm Ringuette was placed on paid leave due to his arrest in Boston, saying only it was related to an off-duty incident. Police are expected to conduct an internal investigation into the matter, Shears added.
“I can’t comment on an ongoing investigation,” Shears said, when asked how long the investigation might take.
Ringuette, 29, has been with the small department for many years working midnight shifts as a patrolman. In addition to Shears, the department consists of six full-time officers; among them is his father, Sgt. Stephen M. Ringuette. Shears said he has had to juggle schedules to cover his shifts.
In January, Ringuette received an award from AAA, the national travel club, for his commitment to traffic safety. He was nominated by Shears after leading the department in drunken-driving arrests for 2012.