Oak Bluffs Police Seize Man, Shotgun


A 17-year-old New Bedford man spent the holiday weekend in the Edgartown house of correction after he was found by the Oak Bluffs police with a stolen, loaded sawed-off shotgun in his backpack and an open bottle of cognac in his hand.

Justin Barry was arrested and charged with a long list of weapons and alcohol violations. Arraignment was set for yesterday morning in Edgartown district court.

The incident took place behind Jim's Package Store in Oak Bluffs just after 9:30 p.m. on July 4.

Police responded to the parking lot after receiving a call from an employee at the package store about possible underage kids drinking. According to police reports, three young men were found in the parking lot, including Mr. Barry, who was holding an open bottle of Hennessey cognac. Mr. Barry had a backpack and police began to search the backpack, believing there was more alcohol inside it. What they found was not alcohol but a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun. According to police accounts the shotgun was broken down into three pieces for easy assembly, and a shell was in the barrel. Mr. Barry was carrying a second shell in the pocket of his pants.

Police ran the serial numbers for the shotgun and learned that it was reported stolen.

Mr. Barry was arrested and transported to the county jail. He was charged with unlawful possession of a sawed-off shotgun, possession of a firearm with no firearms identification card, possession of ammunition with no firearms identification card, possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of false identification, carrying an open container of alcohol and a minor in possession of alcohol.

Oak Bluffs police officers who responded to the incident included Sgt. Timothy Williamson, Robert Branca and Dan Marshall.

Police and firefighters were kept busy over the long July Fourth weekend, especially up-Island where the spate of incidents included a moped accident in Chilmark and a house fire in Aquinnah.

The moped accident took place on Saturday afternoon when a Boston area couple riding a rented moped went off the road near Chocker's Land in Chilmark.

Nancy Huang of Medford and Tak Kwan of Quincy drove the moped to the Aquinnah Circle where they were treated for by Aquinnah police Sgt. Randhi Belain for injuries including numerous scrapes and abrasions. The couple was later transported by the Tri-Town Ambulance to the Martha's Vineyard Hospital for treatment.

There was some confusion at first about the location of the accident because Ms. Huang and Mr. Kwan did not report that they had gone off the road in Chilmark until they received treatment in Aquinnah.

Police did not record the origin of the rented moped.

Chilmark police chief Timothy Rich said the hill and the curve by Chocker's Land is a well-worn spot for accidents. "An infamous spot for eating mopeds and cars," the chief said.

Aquinnah firefighters responded to a number of calls, including a house fire on State Road on Sunday afternoon.

The fire broke out in the basement of the wood frame home owned by Megan Ottens Sargent just after 2 p.m. The owner was home at the time and went to a home across the road to call the fire department.

Aquinnah fire chief Walter Delaney said Chilmark sent two trucks and eight firefighters as part of an automatic mutual aid arrangement. Aquinnah responded with two trucks and seven firefighters. The Tri-Town ambulance also responded to the scene of the fire. A portion of State Road was closed for about an hour.

No one was injured and the fire was contained in the basement, although there was smoke and electrical damage throughout the house, Mr. Delaney said.

He said a quick response from a neighbor with a fire extinguisher helped to contain the blaze. "This could have been much worse, and we were lucky," Mr. Delaney said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Aquinnah firefighters also responded over the weekend to an electrical fire in a Vineyard Transit Authority bus and two overheated motors in private homes.

Chilmark and Aquinnah police were called out to the beach on Sunday night after a boat ran aground.

Just as darkness fell on Sunday night, Sergeant Belain learned that a distress call had gone out to the Coast Guard about a boat in trouble. At first it was thought that the boat was off Squibnocket. After heading out to the beach and consulting with the Chilmark police and some later investigation with an all-terrain vehicle, Sergeant Belain eventually found the boat and its two occupants off Zacks Cliffs.

The occupants of the boat were Horatio Madeiros and Jack Madeiros, both of Fall River. Mr. Belain said both men spoke Portuguese and very little English, so communication was difficult. Both men were transported to the Martha's Vineyard Hospital for treatment, but Sergeant Belain said as of yesterday their whereabouts were unknown. The boat, reported to be a 21-foot inboard with an open cockpit, was left on the beach.

Chilmark and West Tisbury police responded to the scene of a one-car accident late Sunday night. Joseph J. Ragosta drove his Ford pickup truck into a tree near Henry Hough Lane on Middle Road. A short time before the accident, Mr. Ragosta had a near-miss with a Chilmark cruiser when he drove by the Chilmark Store at a reported speed of 60 miles per hour in a 25-mph zone.

Mr. Ragosta was transported to the Martha's Vineyard Hospital for treatment; he was later arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and numerous other violations in connection with the accident.

Chief Rich said the warm summer weather over the weekend drew the crowds up-Island. "When it's sunny and nice people come up; when it's foul and raining they head down. We had a full house; all the venues in Chilmark were operating at capacity," he said.

Edgartown and Tisbury police reported only minor incidents over the weekend.

"It was busy but not crazy," said Edgartown Sgt. Ken Johnson. Sergeant Johnson said police responded to 11 noise complaints and a handful of minor accidents, including one when a driver backed into a fire hydrant on 12th street and another when a driver went off the West Tisbury Road in order to avoid hitting a person on a moped.

West Tisbury police chief reported much of the same.

"We had the usual numerous fireworks complaints, an OUI, fire alarms, bank alarms. It was a little bit of everything all day long. Busy, but what I would call normal busy," the chief said.