LEOMINSTER – On Tuesday, April 25, at about 9:36 p.m., Officer Shane Crawford of the Leominster Police Department was dispatched to the area of Lancaster Street near the Leominster Animal Hospital following a report of a man wearing a cape in the middle of the roadway.
“Please note that given this description I immediately believed it to be Mr. Matthew Vaillette, who was released from jail today,” wrote Officer Crawford in his Narrative for the incident. “I have dealt with Mr. Vaillette on dozens of occasions and he will consistently walk or hangout in the middle of travel lanes obstructing traffic.”
Shortly after Officer Crawford arrived on scene, he located Vaillette near the intersection of Lancaster and Howard streets, wearing a green cloak and dragging a broken black umbrella behind him. According to police, Vaillette is 38-years-old and homeless in Leominster.
“I then began to have a conversation with Mr. Vaillette,” wrote Officer Crawford in his Narrative. “Mr. Vaillette stated that cars were ‘swerving’ at him and drivers were yelling ‘slurs’ at him. I asked Mr. Vaillette if he ever considered that cars were ‘swerving’ at him because they were trying to avoid him as he was in the middle of the road? Mr. Vaillette stated ‘no, no, no.’ I explained to Mr. Vaillette again that if he just stuck to the side of the road, there would not be any issues. Mr. Vaillette was exhibiting the same paranoid behavior in which he thinks everyone is after him and that other people’s actions are not a byproduct of his own bizarre behavior. Mr. Vaillette then walked off.”
Officer Crawford returned to the station and called the woman who reported Vaillette to police.
“I asked [the woman] to explain what she saw,” said Officer Crawford in his Narrative. “[The woman] stated that she saw a man in a cloak, bowing and waving what she described as a ‘black pirate flag, that didn’t have the pirate on it’ at traffic.”
The woman added that Vaillette was originally walking on the side of the road, then proceeded to the middle of the street, on the middle yellow lines.
“I asked [the woman] if cars had to go around him to avoid him, to which she stated she was not sure as she had turned onto Willard Street and couldn’t see him anymore,” explained Officer Crawford in his Narrative. “Please note that this area of New Lancaster Road does not have official sidewalks, however there is a section off the curb where one could walk. There is also a large section of breakdown lane, for pedestrian traffic so they may not impede traffic. Also note that today’s weather is unseasonably warm, being in the upper 80s, and it is Friday. Both of these things together have caused an increase in the volume of traffic on the roads.”
Officer Crawford summoned Vailette to court on a charge of disorderly conduct subsequent offense. Vaillette has been found guilty for disorderly conduct charges three times in the past.
Vaillette was arraigned in Leominster District Court on May 23. He is scheduled for a pretrial conference on June 15.
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Disclaimer 2: If you are wondering why the incident in this story was from April (you’re an a$$hole that doesn’t understand my business model, just kidding🃏), that’s because I had to file FOIA request(s) to get the court documents for the incident. FOIAs are time consuming.