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Methuen Massachusetts Police Officer Charged With Assault and Battery, Felony Malicious Destruction to Property After Salisbury Barroom Fight

This past weekend a fight erupted at the Surfside 5, a bar in Salisbury, Massachusetts. According to a report in the Lawrence Eagle Tribune a Methuen, Massachusetts police officer, Shawn Tardif and his wife were at the bar with friends. Also at the bar was a group of women celebrating a woman’s pending engagement. Interaction between the groups became contentious. Two versions of the events have been reported. One version suggests that the wives from Tardif’s group were jealous after women from the bachelorette party started to flirt with their husbands. At one point Tardif’s wife was hit with a drink thrown by a woman named Nicole Morrison. Tardif tried to help his wife as did one of his friends. Morrison then bit the friend. Another version supported by other patrons at the bar have Tardif and his friend flirting with the women attending the bachelorette party and being asked to leave by these women.

Regardless of the origin of problem it is alleged that Tardif grabbed Morrison, threw her to the floor of the bar and dragged her by the hair. One of her earrings was ripped out as well. Responding police officers saw what was described as a “clump of hair” Tardif ripped out of her hair. The article also states that a security guard trying to stop the melee was struck in the mouth by Tardif. Disc jockey equipment with a value of over two hundred fifty dollars sustained damage as well. There might be a security videotape that will show how the incident unraveled. Tardif has been charged with Malicious Destruction of Property Over $250, a felony in Massachusetts as well as Assault and Battery. The case is pending in the Newburyport District Court.

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Newburyport, Massachusetts Criminal Defense Law Firm

Salisbury, Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney

So what is going to happen to Mr. Tardif? That depends on several factors. The footage on the surveillance or security video might be supportive of the affirmative defense of “defense of another”. If Tardif was properly defending his wife and used no more force than necessary to accomplish that goal this defense might be asserted at trial. An Experienced Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer will want to interview the patrons present at the bar during the incident. Does their version of the events support Tardif’s or Morrison’s? Will a complaint against Morrison issue? If one does, she might choose to invoke her Fifth Amendment privilege to remain silent thereby making proof of criminal activity against Tardif more difficult to prove. If the Salisbury police do not apply for a complaint against Morrison Tardif certainly can and probably will. How credible are the people in Morrison’s group? Do any of them have criminal histories that bear on the issue of their credibility?


Our office has defended people accused of committing Violent Crimes in Massachusetts with great success. Some of our clients are police officers defending against the most serious criminal allegations. If you are in trouble call our office at 617-263-6800 or send us an email. We will start investigating your defenses right now.