A Vineyard Haven man was charged with felony assault and battery with a deadly weapon on Sunday after he allegedly tried to steal an item from an Edgartown store and then hit one of the store’s employees with his car in the parking lot.
Michael Ryan, 20, of Bishops Cove Road, Vineyard Haven, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and shoplifting following the incident at Trader Fred’s at the Triangle in Edgartown. He was arraigned in Edgartown district court yesterday morning.
According to police, an employee of Trader Fred’s saw Mr. Ryan snatch a white visor cap and then try to exit the store without paying for it. The employee followed Mr. Ryan out of the store and repeatedly asked him to stop. Once outside the store, Mr. Ryan reportedly gave the visor back to the employee and then got into a car parked in front of Your Market.
The employee then got behind Mr. Ryan’s car, put his hands in front of him, and demanded that he not leave. But police said Mr. Ryan did not heed the warning, and instead put the car in reverse and struck the employee, pushing him backwards and onto the ground. Police said Mr. Ryan then put the vehicle in drive and fled the scene up Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road.
An eyewitness wrote down the registration number of the car, and later told police that the employee reached for the car door handle as the vehicle left the scene. The employee was brought to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital by ambulance for treatment and later released.
Edgartown police then issued an alert for all officers to be on the lookout for Mr. Ryan’s vehicle. Minutes later, special officer Max Sherman stopped Mr. Ryan in front of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. Mr. Ryan later admitted to police that he stole the visor and returned it. He also said he saw the employee behind the vehicle trying to stop him, but was unaware that he had struck him.
In other police news, Edgartown police on Saturday evening investigated a report of a missing person after a woman on Old Indian Trail road got in touch with police to report she could not find her husband. The investigation quickly stalled, however, after it was learned the husband was simply running late and had failed to call home.
Edgartown police also investigated a report of a heated dispute between a taxi driver and irate customer Sunday morning that nearly turned into a physical altercation. Police responded to a home on Major’s Cove Lane just after 1:30 a.m. and found the taxi driver and passenger arguing. The customer alleged that the driver had overcharged him, while the driver countered that the man was mistaken as well as drunk and belligerent.
The taxi driver in the end made a more compelling argument, and the pugnacious passenger was taken into protective custody and later released.
West Tisbury police on July 7 received a call that an elderly woman in a 19-foot powerboat had lost power and was adrift in the ocean off Lambert’s Cove. A passenger aboard a boat passing by saw the woman trying to paddle the boat by hand and called 911 for help.
Sgt. Dan Rossi said he received the call from dispatch and then got in touch with the lifeguards at Lambert’s Cove Beach. The lifeguards saw the woman come into view by Paul’s Point, and used a small boat to reach the woman and bring her to safety.