METHUEN — A potential gunfight between a Methuen police officer and two armed robbery suspects was the end to a violent Friday overnight shift that ended without anyone being killed early yesterday.
"In my 17 years here, this is probably one of the biggest, most chaotic nights this department has had involving violent crimes," Methuen Police Captain Randy R. Haggar said last night.
"It was the perfect storm this morning as far as the caliber of incidents this department has had to respond to. A definite strain on our manpower. We are short-staffed right now. And I believe we were very lucky last night not to have an officer injured in a gunfight," he said.
One officer was injured — though not seriously — while he was investigating a home invasion that led to the arrests of three women and a man.
Police said Officer Alvin Alarcon was struck by a woman who was later arrested for drunk driving.
Christine M. Morley, 19, of 1 Esmond Ave., Methuen, was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol. Alarcon said Morley hit his right hand and cruiser flashlight while traveling west on Swan Street, close to where the officer was investigating a home invasion.
Four people were being held on $20,000 cash bail last night at the Methuen police station, charged with home invasion and assault and battery:
Tia Walsh, 28, of 15D Manor Driver, Groveland
Jessica Ivette Martinez, 25, of 22 Brook St., Apt. 2, Lawrence
Ashlee Jennise Gonzalez, 23, 85 Oak St., Lawrence.
Albert A. Martines, 19, 18 Sullivan Ave., Apt. 10, Lawrence.
Police also investigated another incident where a Methuen man barricaded himself in a house, trying to avoid arrest after a domestic violence incident.
Cesar Jimenez, 32, of 16 Central Ave., was charged with breaking and entering in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony, malicious destruction of property over $250, assault and battery domestic, resisting arrest, operating after suspension of a license, failure to stop for police officer.
"The incident of somebody being barricaded inside after 45 minutes — with police being able to talk the man into giving himself up — that had the potential to go sour quickly," Haggar said.
But Officer Nicholas Dore handled the incident well, he said.
Haggar also noted that Methuen police couldn't have made it through the night without the help of Lawrence and Dracut police.
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