Bruce Sartwell of Abington, Massachusetts has been charged with extortion. It is alleged that Sartwell, who owns a tattoo parlor and another Outlaws Motorcycle Club member confronted a nearby pizzeria owner to ask if he intended to open a tattoo parlor upstairs. He responded that he did intend to do so. One of the motorcycle members told him that that was a bad idea. The complainant responded that he did not ask for their opinion and that he would open a tattoo parlor if he wanted to. Supposedly either the defendant or his friend made an arguably threatening remark about damaging the pizzeria owner’s building. By his own admission the complainant made clear that the defendant denied threatening him or his building by stating that he was not threatening him and that threats as such would be illegal. Nevertheless the pizza shop owner called the police. They arrested Sartwell and charged him with extortion. The case is pending in the Brockton District Court.
The crime of extortion in Massachusetts is proscribed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 25. The law states that anyone who threatens another with injury to his person or property in order to extort money or gain a pecuniary advantage is guilty of extortion, a felony in Massachusetts. A conviction of this crime is punishable by a maximum fifteen year state prison sentence or two and one half years in jail. Most likely this case will be prosecuted in the district court where it is now pending.
This case might be difficult for the district attorney to prove. It is the word of the pizza parlor owner against that of the defendant and his friend. Keep in mind that the “victim” in this case is a business competitor of the defendant’s. His self-proclaimed bravado about standing up to the defendant and his friend is tough to swallow. He is able to stand up to these men yet decides later to call the police due to a perceived threat? This sounds a bit sketchy. Perhaps it is the complainant who is trying to gain a competitive advantage in his business over the defendant by making this complaint.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman defends people accused of committing Violent Crimes in Massachusetts. Call us now at 617-263-6800 to discuss your case or contact us online. All conversations are privileged and kept in confidence.