Salem official faces new charges of witness tampering
Patrick McDougall, 37, was arrested Friday on three counts of felony witness tampering and misdemeanor counts of criminal threatening and disorderly conduct, police said.
McDougall now faces the prospect of state prison if he is convicted by a jury on the latest set of charges, which stem from an alleged confrontation with Salem Fire Chief Kevin Breen, and an earlier run-in with a town police officer.
He was charged in July with obstructing government administration, a misdemeanor punishable by a fine, for allegedly barring paramedics from taking his wife to the hospital after she called 911.
About 11:30 a.m. Friday, Breen called police to the Central Firehouse on Main Street to report his interaction with McDougall, who was seeking information related to his misdemeanor case pending in court, police said.
Police say McDougall came to the fire station demanding to speak with Breen — a witness — and soon became confrontational. Before leaving, McDougall walked by Breen and quickly turned to him, getting within a foot of the chief’s face, police said.
“The chief told our officers that Mr. McDougall’s behavior was escalating and that a physical confrontation was imminent,” Deputy Police Chief Shawn Patten said on Saturday. “The other officers and employees felt that way, as well.”
Breen and others in the fire station had told McDougall that he should not have been in the building, saying he had been notified in writing to follow the legal process to collect information about his court case, according to Patten.
McDougall left the building after being ordered by Breen to leave, Patten said.
Police already had McDougall under investigation for allegedly telling a police officer on Aug. 26 that his wife, Jane, was not available to receive a subpoena being served at their home.
McDougall became confrontational with the officer, Matthew McKenzie, and slammed a door in the officer’s face, police said.
McDougall allegedly told the officer his wife was sleeping, but McKenzie could hear a female voice in the house for several minutes.
McKenzie was about to leave when Jane McDougall called from an apartment window and said she would take the subpoena, police said.
Police sought arrest warrants for McDougall on Friday. He was taken into custody without incident.
McDougall is free on $2,500 bail. He was ordered to have no contact with town employees and not to enter town buildings except for his meetings. McDougall is still a member of the Salem Budget Committee.
He will be arraigned on his latest charges Sept. 24 in 10th Circuit Court in Salem.
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James A. Kimble may be reached at JKimble@newstote.com.
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