Assault and battery charges following Northborough traffic stop


The Northborough Police Department is located on Main Street. Photo/Laura Hayes
James Morris, 36, has been charged by Northborough police with vandalizing property and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon following a traffic stop.
(Photo/Laura Hayes)

NORTHBOROUGH – A Marlborough man is facing charges of OUI, vandalizing property and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon following a traffic stop.

James Morris, 36, has also been charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and failing to stop or yield.

A Northborough officer was on patrol near the intersection of Bartlett and Main streets at about 1:11 a.m. Nov. 4 when he saw a pickup truck fail to stop at a red light. According to the statement of facts filed in Westborough District Court, Morris’ eyes were bloodshot and glassy and he had slurred speech and an odor of alcohol from his mouth when he spoke with the officer.

Police requested that Morris perform standardized field sobriety tests. Police said they explained the tests, and Morris “yelled” that he wouldn’t do any of the tests.

“Officers advised Mr. Morris that he was under arrest for operating under the intoxication of liquor. Mr. Morris became enraged and failed to act cooperatively,” police wrote.

When officers told him to turn around and put his hands behind his back, police said that Morris went into the eastbound lane of Main Street. Police said he resisted and pulled his arms away when they attempted to initiate arrest.

According to the court documents, during the traffic stop, officers deployed OC spray and Tasers, but they were unable to take Morris into custody. After one of the instances that an officer used his Taser, two officers attempted to subdue him and “wrestled” him by the grass shoulder.

Police said that Morris pushed the police away and backpedaled down the westbound lane. The officers, who deployed their batons, told him to get out of the road and stop resisting. Police said he refused and began to run across Main Street.

At one point, the officer said he struck Morris in the torso to push him out of the path of a vehicle, but the officer’s right arm and hand was struck by the vehicle. The officer said he had a small cut to his hand and multiple abrasions to his hand and forearm.

Police said they were able to get Morris to the front of one of the cruisers, but when they attempted to put him prone on the ground, Morris ran into the front quarter panel of a cruiser. In the daylight, police said they saw the panel was dented and scratched.

Morris, who had requested assistance because of a negative reaction to the OC spray and said he couldn’t breathe, was later cleared by Marlborough Hospital and transported to the police station.

Morris was arraigned in Westborough District Court on Nov. 6 where a judge set his bail at $10,000 surety bond or $1,000 cash.

An attorney representing Morris did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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