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Published: July 29, 2008 05:30 am ShareThisPrintThis
Man banged up trying to thwart van theft
By Bruno Matarazzo Jr.
Staff writer

SALEM - A Peabody man who didn't want to waste time waiting in line for a roast beef sandwich ended up risking his life for his van.
Robert Sawall's van was stolen, and police said he tried to hang on while the van sped away. Police in Peabody eventually caught up with Michael J. Morrisey, 46, of 3 Cross Street Court, Salem. He faces charges in Peabody and Salem, including carjacking, because police say he put the victim in fear.
Police said Morrisey stole Sawall's vehicle at 12:23 p.m. from the King's Roast Beef parking lot on North Street.
Sawall, 47, who didn't want to wait in line for a meal, left the restaurant and walked back to his 1994 GMC van when he heard the engine start. Police did not say whether the keys had been left in the van.
"Realizing that his van was being stolen, he ran to the side of the van and observed a white male not known to him behind the wheel," the police report stated.
Sawall told Morrisey to get out of his van, police said.
Morrisey put the van into gear and drove onto School Street toward Tremont Street with Sawall holding on, yelling for the man to stop.
"After approximately 30 feet, the van sped up and Sawall fell to the ground on School Street and injured his right elbow and shoulder," police said.
Police in Salem were notified, and they radioed neighboring departments to be on the lookout for Sawall's van.
Peabody Patrolman Joseph Gilroy spotted the van in front of 12 Lynn St. in Peabody minutes later and took Morrisey into custody. Morrisey was later turned over to Salem police.
In addition to the carjacking charge, Morrisey was charged with larceny of a motor vehicle. Peabody police plan to summons Morrisey for driving with a revoked license.
Sawall did not need medical attention to his injured elbow and shoulder. He later recovered his van in Peabody without any damage.
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