For Immediate Release - April 06, 2007

Rockport Officer Indicted

An Essex County Grand Jury today indicted a Rockport police officer who allegedly fired a shot near the head of his wife while she was sitting in a chair in their home on the morning of January 12, 2007.

Robert O'Neil, 38, of 9 Darby Lane, Rockport, will be arraigned within the next two weeks in Salem Superior Court. He faces charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, malicious destruction of property under $250, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, reckless endangerment of a child, and three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

At a dangerousness hearing a few days after O'Neil's arraignment, the Commonwealth sought to have him held without bail.

The court instead ordered him to home confinement on the GPS bracelet at a relative's house in Walpole, and imposed a multitude of conditions. It ordered that he abide by the restraining order, turn in his passport, enter and complete the Gosnold Hospital Program and aftercare, limit his travel to appointments with his doctor and lawyer, and to court appearances and aftercare.

The case will be prosecuted by Essex Assistant District Attorney Michael Hickey. O'Neil is represented by Attorney Thomas Drechsler.