By Jim Clark
Police responded to a report that a woman had been struck by a man with a weed whacker last Sunday afternoon at a Broadway residence.
As officers arrived at the scene they were informed that the alleged assailant had been chased to Bond St. by a group of men. Police spotted the suspect there, bloodied and not wearing a shirt. He was surrounded by a group of males who were reportedly arguing with him loudly as officers arrived.
The suspect, Robert Tiernan, 50, of Medford, was questioned and reportedly told police that he had been gardening at a Broadway residence, using a weed whacker, when neighbors began arguing with him. At some point one of them allegedly threw a beer bottle at him, causing him to lose his balance and lose control of the weed whacker. He reportedly told officers that if anyone got hurt by the power tool that it was an accident and not intentional.
Tiernan reportedly further told police that one of the neighbors approached and punched him in the face, then others joined in the assault.
Officers questioned the others involved in the incident and one stated that he had been outside of his residence with his wife and a friend looking at their garden. Tiernan was reportedly weed whacking on the other side of a shared fence and was asked to stop briefly, according to the witness, but that he refused and an argument ensued.
The witness then alleged that Tiernan began swinging the weed whacker back and forth over the fence, threatening them. At one point the weed whacker allegedly hit the witness’ wife’s arm, causing visible wounds. The witness admitted to throwing a beer bottle at Tiernan, but that this was in self-defense.
According to witness testimony, a 911 call was then placed and Tiernan allegedly began walking away. The witnesses then said that they followed Tiernan so that he would not get away and that he physically attacked them. They further stated that they fought back in self-defense.
Police noted that Tiernan had bruises on his stomach and back and a laceration on his face above his eye. Paramedics who came to the scene recommended that Tiernan be hospitalized for treatment but he reportedly refused to go.
Tiernan was placed under arrest and charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Charges will also be filed against the alleged victims. One man will be charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a beer bottle. The other man will be charged with assault and battery. The woman was taken to the Somerville Hospital to have her injured arm treated.