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Man Arrested for Driving Through Picket Line

An already tense scene became a dangerous one of Thursday as police are investigating to see if a medical issue was the cause of the incident.

An already tense picket line at a Wilmington shipping company turned into a dangerous situation on Thursday when a man drove his truck through police officers, leading to his arrest.

Wilmington Deputy Police Chief Bob Richter said that at about 9 a.m., an independent truck driver pulled into the entrance of xpedx at 613 Main Street where workers were picketing.

When police stopped the man at the picket line, he sped up and drove forward, forcing one of the officers to hang on to the side of the truck to avoid falling.

The 79-year-old man was arrested and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and various motor vehicle charges. He was arraigned in Woburn District Court on Thursday afternoon.

Richter said police have not yet released the man’s identity because they are investigating to see if a medical issue caused the driver to accelerate. Wilmington Police believe they will make a conclusion on that front by Friday.

No one was seriously injured during the incident. The driver was the only party transported to the hospital as he suffered minor injuries caused by broken glass.

“We don’t yet know why he did what he did,” said Richter. “It was dangerous. The officers could have been hit. One officer was near the truck and another was on the steps of the truck when he took off. He had to hold onto the side of the truck while it was driven. It was quite dangerous, and luckily no one was hurt.”

Despite the incident, Richter said things have remained under control at the xpedx picket line.

A representative from the company declined comment on the incident. The only comment issued came from Community Relations Manager Lisa Jonas.

“xpedx is currently in contract negotiations with (International Brotherhood of Teamsters) 25,” said Jonas. “We would like to see the matter resolved so we can provide good jobs for these valued members of our team.”

The xpedx union representative on the picket line deferred comment to union president Sean O’Brien, who did not return phone calls to Wilmington Patch on Thursday.

Richter said that police will continue working detail at xpedx around the clock, assuring a safe picketing environment. 

“(Thursday’s incident) appears to be isolated. Everyone appears to be abiding by the rules and we haven’t had any major issues,” said Richter. “We don’t take sides. We’re just there to keep the peace.”

Karl Ian Sagal November 04, 2012 at 06:35 AM
Scab Hater, I was not a scab, I do not do business with Xpedx, yet I was also treated poorly, just in case. You said there is more than one entrance to these other businesses, so it is okay for you to decide which one people should use? Who gave you that right? Also, you said that the Police have done an excellent job of directing people. I go by, and there frequently are 6 or more police there. I feel that if you have not disrupted any businesses and people have gone by unhassled, then the police would not need to be there. And do you not consider telling people that they used an entrance to a business that you do not want them to use not hassling people? You yourself have said there is more than one entrance to these business, yet you say that you do not hassle people. I do not understand. I believe the whole point of your picket line is to hassle those who would enter into the Xpedx property, for any reason. That is your job at the moment. It is disingenuous to say otherwise.
Karl Ian Sagal November 04, 2012 at 06:45 AM
I have said, I do not do business with this company. I do not work in an industry that is represented, nor populated with people in your union. However, I do believe that Unions have had a hand in making working conditions better for many workers, and more than just workers in those unions directly. In some cases, a rising tide will raise all boats... But that is not the same as saying that giving a hard time to a fellow looking for a nearby business makes you more courageous than me. That is just too long a reach. Just because some activity is justified, or just because some positive outcome may eventually be realized for some people, does not justify all behavior, nor every thing that is done under that umbrella. I am sorry, but it does not. I know if my family was hungry, or I had bills to pay, driving my independent rig thru a bunch of thugs that are blocking the driveway to a business that I am doing business with to pay my bills, would require more courage today, than standing in the mob would. If you guys are not a mob, then that is wonderful. But if you act like one, then you are one, regardless of if you tell us you are more courageous than the rest of us.
Grecko November 07, 2012 at 11:53 PM
These scum bags are called Thugs. Just like the Hoffa gang that gave millions to Obamo, which he stole from Union victims,for the election. Join the (Google in)Right to Work and get the honest info about Unions! UNBELIEVABLE!! Big Union thugs are trying to ruin our country! When i was in a forced union(to get the job) The boss stuart told me to slow down your working to hard. It is a no brainer that US companys have to move or get out side parts to be competitive. Just think about that! If the employes have a gripe, they should strike WITHOUT THE SCUM UNION. And they wount have to pay $1000 a year for dues. It could go to help the family.
Scab Hater November 11, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Boy Grecko you are a very bitter clueless man.Face it you ere never in the union I can tell by the way you have tried describe it in your meaningless thought process. We don't have Boss stewards not stuart. They don't tell us how to work.If you actually worked in this industry you would know that THEY keep on top of what we do very day with comp. technology and call us in the office when we don't meet their work standard. Union dues aren't $1,000 it is half that. Face it your a sore loser cause Romney the huge white collar criminal who destroyed jobs and companies and sent them overseas LOST. I know Iwas in one.Oh the poor white collar crime syndicut. Also if your so blue collar intelligant you would know that it is against the law for non union employees to strike withiout a union and they can be legally replaced without recourse we can't.White collar america is destroying workers rights and the middle class.Ask those who are surrounded by brainwashed yes men like you and live in fear of losing there jobs. We keep the work place competitive with wages and benefits for all. So yes Iam proud to be union and to stand up against morons like you. Isuppose you find it perfectly acceptable for a top ceo to make millions per yr. while he lays people off and cuts their benefits. Have you ever once seen a product made in China for pennies on the dollar sold at a discount here NO they pocket it. All they do is cry poor mouth and threaten peoples jobs.Good luck to you. YOU SORE LOSER
DaveR November 19, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I agree with Scab Hater. I'm sure all the Union people are driving American cars supporting their Union brothers and sisters. I hope none of them have Apple products , Apple's factories treat the workers very poor and the mark up on the products is outrageous.

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