According to the records, police also responded to a fight in April 2006 between D’Ambrosio and a boy from his street, during which the boy’s mother said D’Ambrosio bit her son on the arm.
DuBosque argued in court that D’Ambrosio was not a danger because he was not threatening specific violence, and police found no explosives, weapons or other writing about violence when they searched his home. The post started out as lyrics, he said.
“It was an absolute terrible choice of words,” he said. D’Ambrosio referred to himself as a rapper on Facebook, and has posted videos of himself rapping on YouTube.
Because D’Ambrosio did not threaten to use a weapon in a specific place or against a specific person, the post did not meet the state statute’s requirements, DuBosque said.
“When searched, the police didn’t find anything indicative of doing anything but writing bad rap lyrics,” he said.
But Rooney disagreed based on the police reports of past behavior that prosecutors submitted and declared he was a threat to the community.
Patrolman James Mellor, the Methuen police officer assigned to Methuen High School, said he knew D’Ambrosio before this incident because another student had beaten him severely enough to put him in the hospital with a ruptured spleen in September.
That student, who was not identified in court, was prosecuted, Mellor said.
Mellor said he found D’Ambrosio on Pleasant Street at about 1:30 p.m. May 1, about an hour after associate principal James Weymouth showed him the Facebook post. Dozens of students brought the post to Weymouth’s attention that day.
He was polite and cooperative during and after his arrest, Mellor said.
D’Ambrosio, a senior who was on track to graduate next month, will be suspended, Mellor said, and will have an exclusionary hearing that could result a decision to expel him from school. Methuen Superintendent Judith Scannell, who could not comment on D’Ambrosio’s case in particular, said students or parents have the right to appeal decisions made at exclusionary hearings.