By Dave Rogers
Staff Writer `
---- — NEWBURY — A Hanover Street resident coming home from work early Sunday morning surprised a burglar trying to break into his house, leading to a physical confrontation and culminating in a manhunt and arrest.
William M. Ward, 28, of 5A Northern Blvd., Newbury, was charged with nighttime breaking and entering, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and is expected to be arraigned in Newburyport District Court sometime today.
According to Newbury police Deputy Chief John Lucey Jr., Ward was trying to gain access to the house around 4 a.m. when the homeowner returned from work at exactly the same time. The homeowner ordered Ward to leave but Ward wouldn’t cooperate, leading to a physical altercation between the two. During the confrontation, the homeowner’s wife, who had been in the house already, called police. Eventually, the homeowner retreated inside his house, where he and his wife barred Ward from entering.
As police were arriving on scene, Ward fled into a marshy area between Hanover Street and cow fields belonging to Tendercrop Farms. There Newburyport and Newbury officers established a perimeter, enlisting the help of Amesbury police K-9 officer Thomas Nichols and his dog, Kaybar.
Ward was found a short time later by Newbury police officer Joseph Santiago.
“Quick response, quick result,” Lucey said.
Assisting in the search were Amesbury police officers Eric Marshall and Nichols. Among those establishing the perimeter were Lucey and Newburyport officers Dani Michalek and Sgt. Peter Finnegan. The response was coordinated by Newbury police Sgt. Jay Routhier.
Lucey said Ward was taken to the Middleton jail pending his arraignment. Police continue to investigate whether Ward has any ties to the residence he tried to rob, but as of today it appeared to be a random encounter, Lucey said.