SOMERVILLE — On Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, Officer Robert Hartsgrove of the Somerville Police Department was dispatched to the intersection of Prospect Street and Webster Avenue following a report of a knife fight. Multiple additional officers responded as backup.
(The account and quotations in this article were taken from the printed Personnel Narrative of Officer Hartsgrove.)
Upon arrival, Officer Hartsgrove saw two men standing near the front of a vehicle, a third man – later identified as Misael Maldonado – was kneeling on the ground. Since all three individuals spoke Spanish, Officer Erick Ubeda was called to the scene to translate.
When Officer Ubeda arrived on scene, he asked the two men standing near the front of the vehicle what transpired (their names were redacted from the report).
According to Officer Hartsgrove, both men said that last night their friend, Maldonado, broke the rear windshield of their vehicle while they were in Revere.
According to police, Maldonado, 26, is a resident of 31 Stoughton Street in Revere.
The following day, the men brought Maldonado to Webster Auto Body to find out how much it would cost to have their windshield fixed.
When one of the men informed Maldonado that it was going to cost $400 for the repairs, he said “he wasn’t going to pay it and that he was in a gang and would have people come find him.”
At this point, both men got into the vehicle. Maldonado then approached the passenger side of the car, pulled out a knife, and reached into the window where the individual who gave him the repair quote was seated.
Officer Hartsgrove said that when the man in the driver’s seat saw this happening, he immediately drove off. Maldonado ran after the vehicle as it fled down the street, catching up to it at a red light at the intersection of Webster Avenue and Prospect Street. The men then waved down Officer Jason Costa, who – by happenstance – was also at the intersection.
When Officer Ubeda attempted to speak with Maldonado to get his side of the story, he simply denied all wrongdoing.
“Officer Ubeda tried to talk with Misael, but he kept stating that if he was arrested, we were wrong and that he did not do anything,” Officer Hartsgrove said. “I placed Misael under arrest for assault with a dangerous weapon, knife. He was transported by the transport wagon to the Somerville Police Station and booked in the usual manner.”
According to Officer Hartsgrove, following Maldonado’s arrest, police searched the area for a knife and didn’t find one.
“When Officer Costa intervened, he saw that Misael had a rock in his hand which may have been mistaken for a knife,” Officer Hartsgrove explained. “[The man in the passenger seat] did have two scratches on his right arm, but did not know how he got them. He believes it was from the altercation with Misael. [The man] declined medical attention.”
Police towed the vehicle from the scene because neither of the men had a driver’s license.