EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

April 9, 2013

Dispute ends in brawl with police


Police asked him to come downstairs, but he refused. With help from the Fire Department, police pried open the back door and gained entry to the house. They went upstairs, where Messina continued yelling. He attempted to barricade himself in a room by pushing a dresser against his bedroom door, but police were able to kick in the door anyway.

Once inside, they told him he was under arrest, but he became combative as police aimed a Taser at him. At some point, he raised his arms and lowered them, striking Sgt. Steve Debs in the head or pushing Debs into the dresser. They then wrestled Messina to the ground and handcuffed him as he continued to refuse to cooperate, police said.

Sgt. Debs appeared disoriented after being struck and Methuen Fire took him to Holy Family Hospital. He was released for treatment of minor injuries and is scheduled to be back to work today or later this week, according to Capt. Thomas Fram.

Messina’s attorney said in court yesterday that his client has owned his house for years and was worried about drug dealing going on in his property.

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