HAVERHILL — A man is charged with burning his mother with a cigarette and threatening to set her house on fire if she went to police.
"These facts are unbelievable," Assistant District Attorney John DePaulo said yesterday in Haverhill District Court.
Robert Coleman, 20, of 122 Freeman St. extension said he needed money and demanded that his mother and father each give him $200 for his birthday, according to a report filed by Detective William O'Connell.
When Gloria Coleman, 48, said she had no money because she had just paid her credit card bill, her son punched her in the side of the head and used a cigarette to burn her arm, O'Connell wrote.
The incident happened Aug. 30, police said. O'Connell interviewed Coleman's mother at Merrimack Valley Hospital later that day.
Coleman was arrested on a warrant at the police station at 11:50 p.m. Monday. He is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery and threatening to commit a crime. He is being held at Middleton jail.
Judge Patricia Dowling scheduled a dangerousness hearing for Sept. 12. At that hearing, a judge will decide whether Coleman is a danger to society and should be held for a longer period of time.
Coleman is unemployed, according to court records. This is not the first time he has been charged with domestic assault and battery. He was arrested on that charge in August 2009.
Coleman had a narrow escape in February 2007. He was a passenger in a car driven by Adam Hartshorn, 17, of 403 Groveland St., who died six hours after he lost control of his vehicle on Water Street and struck a utility pole. Coleman and Hartshorn were juniors at Haverhill High School at that time. Coleman suffered a broken collarbone in the crash and was released from a Boston hospital after treatment.
Gloria Coleman told The Eagle-Tribune then, "I feel like there was an angel looking over him." Coleman went on to graduate from Haverhill High in 2008.
• • •
Join the discussion. To comment on stories and see what others are saying, log on to eagletribune.com.