Sunday, September 13, 2015

Slow Saturday Special: State Police Down on Downs

"State trooper faces domestic violence indictments" by John R. Ellement Globe Staff  September 11, 2015

A state trooper has been indicted on four charges stemming from an alleged domestic violence episode in February in Salisbury, in which he is accused of trying to suffocate his girlfriend, officials said.

Thomas A. Downs, 59, will be arraigned later this year in Essex Superior Court on one count of suffocation and three counts of assault and battery, according to Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office, which is prosecuting.

Downs was arrested by Salisbury police on Feb. 22 after he allegedly assaulted a 40-year-old woman with whom he had a relationship, according to State Police.

At the time, Downs was assigned to the State Police barracks in Newbury. State Police seized Downs’s service weapon and cruiser and he was suspended without pay, officials said.

“The facts as alleged in the indictment are in stark contrast to the ideals and values of the department and the vast majority of its members,’’ said State Police spokesman David Procopio, in a statement. “The State Police have no tolerance for, and condemn, all acts of domestic violence.’’

State Police said in the statement that Downs was first hired as a police officer in 1987 by the Registry of Motor Vehicles. He joined the State Police when the RMV force was merged into the larger agency in the early 1990s.

According to state payroll records, Downs earned $167,354 in fiscal 2015.

The indictment replaces similar charges filed in Peabody District Court. He pleaded not guilty and has been free on bail since earlier this year.