WORCESTER — At 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 13, while assigned to the downtown unit, Officer Patrick Donahue of the Worcester Police Department was walking through the Peter Pan/Greyhound area of Union Station when he saw a man he immediately recognized as Mark Pinkham sleeping on one of the Peter Pan/Greyhound bus benches.
According to Officer Donahue’s Statement of Facts for the incident, there was a no loitering sign posted right above the bench where Pinkham, a 52-year-old resident of Merrick Street, lay asleep.
“I approached Mr. Pinkham and called his name, he woke up and stated ‘Yeah, I know I’m not supposed to be laying down here,’” wrote Officer Donahue. “At that point I went on to ask if he was taking a Peter Pan/Greyhound bus. He stated, ‘No, I’m taking a WRTA [Worcester Regional Transit Authority] bus.’”
Officer Donahue then began explaining the loitering law to Pinkham, who interrupted him saying, “I’m 52-years-old, you don’t need to explain anything to me.”
According to Officer Donahue’s Statement of Facts, Pinkham denied his request to leave the Peter Pan/Greyhound property and head over to the WRTA hub to wait for his bus.
“He stated ‘No, I have 20 minutes and I’m going to wait right here. I began to plead with Mr. Pinkham to just leave,” wrote Officer Donahue. Later adding, “However, Mr. Pinkham became agitated and started to raise his voice. He went on to state ‘I’m not leaving just arrest me so I can tell the judge what you are doing.’”
At that point, Officer Donahue contacted dispatch for backup.
Shortly thereafter, Officer Dan Donoghue and others arrived on scene. According to Officer Donahue, Officer Donoghue also attempted to explain the loitering laws to Pinkham, but he wouldn’t budge from the bench.
“Despite all of our efforts Mr. Pinkham would not leave and left us no choice but to arrest him,” wrote Officer Donahue in his Statement of Facts.
Pinkham was arrested and charged with Loitering in a Railroad/Railway Station.
He was arraigned in Worcester District Court on July 14, where he plead not guilty. Judge Robert Pellegrini found Pinkham responsible (not guilty) for loitering, filed the case that day and released Pinkham on his own personal recognizance.
Disclaimer: If you are wondering why the incident in this story was from July, that’s because I had to file multiple FOIA requests to get the court documents for the incident. FOIAs are time consuming.