Danvers fire chief accused of assault on estranged wife
DANVERS, Mass. (WHDH) -- The Danvers fire chief was arraigned Wednesday for allegedly assaulting his estranged wife.
Investigators said the argument that led to Kevin Farrell’s arrest was all about a text message that his estranged wife says went to a mutual friend, but was really meant for his girlfriend.
Farrell is accused of being dangerous and abusing his estranged wife, allegedly barging into her Groveland home repeatedly in the middle of the night.
“He slammed the front grabbed her wrists in a forceful manner, began slapping himself in the face with her hand and stated, ‘I’m gonna tell everyone you hit me,’” said prosecutor Ashlee Logan. “An hour later he again returned, lifted the mattress she was sleeping on, flipped it over, throwing her on to the floor.”
The 49-year-old firefighter was arrested at his nearby apartment early Wednesday morning. Police had tracked him by pinging his wife’s cell phone, which he allegedly grabbed so she couldn’t call for help.
Farrell’s lawyer says he has been treated unfairly.
“I don’t see this case as being any much more than an acrimonious divorce and I think he’s being over charged as a result of his position in society,” said defense attorney Michael Baldassarre.
Neighbor Lance Blais said he heard the commotion and knows the fire chief very well, and what it’s like to go through a divorce.
“When you lose someone you love, even if it’s your fault, it’s tough, it’s tough,” said Blais.
In a 2010 restraining order against Farrell, his wife wrote: “He roughed me up, I was choked, thrown to the floor.” She went on to say “He’s emotionally unbalanced and threatened to kill himself” in front of her and his son.
The town manager in Danvers called Farrell an exceptional leader. He put Farrell on paid administrative leave late Wednesday afternoon.
“These allegations are serious in nature and something that we will investigate completely,” said Wayne Marquis, Danvers town manager.
Farrell was sworn in as chief in April 2011. He is being held without bail until a dangerousness hearing set for Friday.
Farrell is also on paid administrative leave.