Peabody man's outburst sparks courtroom melee
By Colin Steele
The man charged with trying to run down a police officer lashed out during his arraignment yesterday, sparking a courtroom melee that resulted in the arrests of his mother, brother and girlfriend.
David G. Ouimet, 19, of 43 Warren St., Peabody, stood inside the courtroom's holding cell as a clerk read aloud the charges against him. After she read the eighth offense, assault with intent to murder, Ouimet swore and began violently thrashing his head and cuffed hands against the Plexiglas.
Court Officer Mick Verga ran into the secure cell and tried restraining Ouimet by putting an arm around his neck, prompting brother Matthew A. Ouimet, 20, to run toward the cell door. David Ouimet continued slamming his head into the Plexiglas, even as Verga held him around the neck.
Police forced Matthew Ouimet to the floor and cuffed him as he lay on his stomach. His arrest sent mother Hermina B. Ouimet, 44, into a rage, as she rushed toward the commotion, screaming, "Leave my kids alone. It's a lie."
Several more police officers swarmed into the courtroom as the situation escalated. They threatened to arrest the mother as well, and did so a short time later as she continued a profanity-laced tirade against police and onlookers.
"Who tried to shoot my kid in the head?" she asked. "What cop tried to shoot my kid in the head? I want to know."
Police arrested David Ouimet on Saturday night, after they said he tried to run down Patrolman Thomas Quinn, who was investigating a report of a stolen snowplow truck at the Heights of Cape Ann. Quinn fired one shot at the truck in an act of self-defense, police said. Ouimet then led Patrolman David Quinn on a high-speed chase down Essex Avenue, police said, before he was arrested outside a home on that road. Patrolman Michael Quinn injured his back making the arrest and will be out of work for a few weeks, Lt. Jerry Cook said. All three Quinns are brothers.
David Ouimet faces charges of assault with intent to murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, motor vehicle theft, resisting arrest, failing to stop for police, receiving stolen property worth less than $250, possessing burglary tools, driving with a suspended license, failing to stop for police and attempt to commit a crime.
Yesterday's situation finally calmed down after officers led David, Matthew and Hermina Ouimet downstairs to the police station. However, there was still another arrest to come. Outside the courtroom, Sgt. John McCarthy repeatedly asked David Ouimet's girlfriend, Nicole L. Luongo, 19, to leave the building peacefully.
"Why don't you just arrest me with the whole ... family?" she shot back.
McCarthy lifted his radio from his belt buckle and called the police station.
"Bring me another set of handcuffs," he said.
Police charged Luongo, of 43 Warren St. in Peabody, with disorderly conduct and trespassing. Matthew Ouimet, of 18 Beckford St. in Beverly, and Hermina Ouimet, of the Heights at Cape Ann, Bldg. 1 Apt. 1, were both charged with disrupting court proceedings, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Police began receiving harassing phone calls from a third brother after the arrests of Hermina and Matthew Ouimet, Cook said.
Matthew Ouimet had been out on bail awaiting trial next month on a charge of assault and battery on a police officer. Judge Richard Mori ordered him held without bail until Feb. 14 at yesterday afternoon's arraignment. Luongo and Hermina Ouimet were released on personal recognizance and ordered to face the charges in court next month.
"I'm very sorry about what happened, your honor," Hermina Ouimet said at her arraignment.
"I'm sure you are," Mori replied. "You're the matriarch of this family, and half the family's in Middleton Jail."
Luongo has no criminal record, and Hermina Ouimet has no convictions, Assistant District Attorney John Brennan said. The prosecution will reveal David Ouimet's criminal history, which police have said is extensive, at a dangerousness hearing Friday.
David Ouimet was on probation in three different courts, including Gloucester, at the time of his Saturday arrest, Brennan said. Yesterday was not his first outburst, police said. He tried to kick out a cruiser window after his arrest and "went ballistic" when police tried to interview him in the station Saturday night, Cook said. After apologizing to the judge when his arraignment continued, Ouimet also cried out that he did not want to go to jail.
On her way out of the courthouse, a tearful Hermina Ouimet said her actions were in response to seeing two of her four sons being hurt.
"If there's another parent who wouldn't have done the same thing, they don't deserve to have kids in the first place," she said.