Court clerk busted in wild chase
By Laurel J. Sweet
Thursday, July 28, 2005 - Updated: 12:25 AM EST
A Dorchester District Court assistant clerk magistrate loitering in a neighborhood under surveillance for drug trafficking allegedly led cops on a high-speed chase Monday night, nearly running down a child in the middle of a street.
A subsequent K-9 sweep of magistrate Harvey Buckley's unregistered, uninsured 1997 Nissan Pathfinder did not turn up narcotics, police said. But during their bid to pull him over along eight residential streets in Mattapan - at speeds allegedly hitting 50 mph - Buckley was throwing ``stuff'' out the SUV's windows, police said.
Arraigned Tuesday in the very court where he issued arrest warrants and mediated traffic beefs, Buckley, 48, pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of motor vehicle violations and was released on personal recognizance by Judge Anthony Sullivan.
A Dorchester resident, Buckley will be prosecuted in Brighton District Court to avoid conflict of interest, said David Procopio, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley.
``The police report is very ugly, but I'm totally not guilty,'' Buckley, who has worked for the trial court for 26 years, told the Herald.``My family is suffering. We haven't ate or slept since this happened.''
Asked why he appeared to be fleeing from police, Buckley said, ``I wasn't. I felt scared, unsafe.''
Buckley's troubles began before 5:30 p.m. Monday when officers from the Boston Police Department's Drug Control Unit, keeping an eye on the corner of Norfolk and Clarkwood streets in Mattapan, spotted ``a suspect known to them'' climbing into the passenger side of a black Nissan Pathfinder and start fishing in his pockets.
The Pathfinder, police reported, later drove about 50 yards before letting the passenger out. Other undercover cops, as well as marked units, were alerted to stop the Pathfinder. They did, on Talbot Avenue, but Buckley, who was said to be at the wheel, ``became uncooperative,'' investigators said, and allegedly took off.
With sirens and flashing lights in his rearview mirror, Buckley was accused of running at least one red light and driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Police said he almost hit a child on Geneva Avenue in his futile bid to escape.