LEOMINSTER – At approximately 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, 2023, Officer Zachary Schaeffer of the Leominster Police Department was dispatched to 109 Biscayne Street to serve an abuse prevention order to Agnes Owino.
(The account and quotations in this article are taken from the printed Personnel Narrative of Officer Schaeffer)
Upon arrival, Officer Schaeffer was met with 26-year-old Peace Mecha, who was seated on a couch near the front entrance of the residence. Mecha identified herself as the plaintiff in the abuse prevention order and showed Officer Schaeffer to the room where Owino was staying.
“I walked over to the door and knocked several times,” Officer Schaeffer said.
Owino, 63, is a resident of 109 Biscayne Street and a caregiver by trade.
“Agnes answered the door and identified herself,” said Officer Schaeffer. “I informed Agnes as to why I was at her home and why I was speaking to her. I showed Agnes a copy of the order and explained all parts of the order. Agnes understood the order and I gave her a copy. After explaining the order to Agnes, she wanted to speak about what was going on.”
According to Officer Schaeffer, Mecha was Owino’s her daughter-in-law. Owino said she purchased the home with her son and Mecha was not involved in the buying process, she moved in later. Owino added that since Mecha moved in, she “started taking over the home and controlling everything she and her son did.”
“Agnes showed me a small area where she and her husband live,” Officer Schaeffer said. “Agnes went on to say Peace does not allow for air conditioning to be turned on and keeps them from entering other parts of the home. Agnes said this has been putting her under stress and feels like she cannot live in the home anymore.”
Officer Schaeffer asked Owino why Mecha got an abuse prevention order against her.
“Agnes stated she works nights and sleeps during the day. When Peace is home during the day, she plays loud music. When Agnes asks Peace to turn the music off, she refuses,” said Officer Schaeffer. “Agnes tries to study for exams and is distracted by the loud music. Agnes will try to turn the music off, but again, Peace will refuse. Agnes stated that this behavior has been going on for quite some time and she does not know what to do about it.”
Officer Schaeffer confirmed with Owino that Mecha was not “involved with the purchase of the home.”
“I explained the process of attempting to evict Peace from the home but told her that it was a civil matter, and she would have to go through Worcester Housing Court,” Officer Schaeffer said.
Owino then told the officer that earlier in the day, she got upset and took Mecha’s speaker system after she began playing music.
“Agnes stated that while she was sweeping her side of the home, Peace came over and wanted the speaker back,” Officer Schaeffer said. “Agnes showed me the broom she was using to sweep. The broom was red, long and appeared to be made of metal (this is when Peace called the police to have the order served).”
Officer Schaeffer then spoke with Mecha to get her side of the story.
“I informed Peace that the order was served. Peace wanted to show me a video of an incident that occurred approximately two hours before my arrival,” Officer Schaeffer explained. “The video shows Agnes on the couch next to her sister in the corner of the living room with the broom on the floor to her right. This is the broom Agnes was claiming she was sweeping with.”
In the video, Mecha is seen approaching Owino on the couch to allegedly ask about getting her speaker system back.
Agnes then gets up from the couch, picks the broom up from the floor, and swings it at Mecha as she chases her out of the room. Officer Schaeffer said that at one point, Owino almost struck Mecha with the broom.
“I asked Peace if she felt threatened by this action and felt fearful that Agnes was going to strike her with the broom,” Officer Schaeffer said. “Peace stated she felt in fear and threatened by Agnes’ actions. I asked Peace if she was struck by the broom Agnes was holding, she stated ‘no.’”
After getting Mecha’s statement, Officer Schaeffer spoke with Owino again.
“Agnes denied hitting her with the broom and said she was only sweeping (at no point was Agnes sweeping),” Officer Schaeffer said. “I told Agnes the incident was captured on camera. Agnes stated the video was not real and she never struck Peace.”
Officer Schaeffer than placed Owino under arrest for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Officer Schaeffer’s reasoning for the charge is as follows: “Agnes swung and threatened Peace with a large broom stick within close distance. If Peace was struck by the broom, it could cause severe injury.”
Owino’s bail was set at $40.
She was arraigned in Leominster District Court.
Disclaimer: If you are wondering why the incident in this story was from July, that’s because I had to file FOIA request(s) to get the court documents for the incident. FOIAs are time consuming.