- Essex District Attorney’s Office
Media Contact for Father & Son Arraigned on Property Damage to Intimidate and BLM Signs Theft
Lynnfield, Massachusetts — A Lynnfield man and his stepfather were arraigned today in Peabody District Court in connection with a month-long investigation of vandalism, property damage and civil rights violations, according to Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett and Lynnfield Police Chief David Breen.
Joshua Simpson, 21, pleaded not guilty to malicious destruction of property, 2 counts of larceny under $1200, vandalizing property, resisting arrest, property damage to intimidate and criminal harassment. Judge Randy Chapman set bail at $750 and ordered him to have no contact with and stay away from all victims and witnesses, stay 1000 feet away from victim’s home and remain alcohol free. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for September 30th.
Stephen Smith, 55, pleaded not guilty to operating under the influence of alcohol, 3 counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, property damage to intimidate and assault to murder. Judge Randy Chapman ordered him held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for September 21st.
On August 17th, Lynnfield Police responded to a report of vandalism at a home on Summer Street. Police found an obscenity directed at Black Lives Matter spray painted on the driveway. The homeowner reported that their Black Lives Matter sign had been stolen the night before but they had not reported it. Since then, police have responded to and investigated a series of acts of vandalism and property destruction at the same home including an obscenity spray painted on a tree, several stolen Black Lives Matter signs, and eggs and tomatoes thrown at the residence.
Early this morning while conducting surveillance of the residence, Lynnfield Police officers observed an individual, later identified as Mr. Simpson, approaching the residence with a carton of eggs. When officers approached the individual, a struggle ensued. A short time later, Mr. Smith drove by the scene and attempted to run the officers over with his vehicle.
“This department spent countless hours responding to these reports and working with the homeowners to identify the perpetrators,” said Lynnfield Police Chief David Breen. “I am hopeful that these arrests and eventual prosecution of these individuals will help provide some peace of mind to the victims and send a message to others that this type of conduct will not be tolerated in this community.”
The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.