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Charges against Merrimack shoveler melt away

New Hampshire Union Leader

May 06. 2014 9:55PM

Menahem Lowy stands near the spot at the end of his Merrimack driveway where he was accused of impeding a town snowplow on Feb. 18. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

A 75-year-old man arrested earlier this year for allegedly blocking the path of a town snowplow is claiming vindication after Merrimack police recently dropped a charge of disorderly conduct against him.

Menahem Lowy said his Feb. 18 arrest was unwarranted, and he never stood on Mountain View Drive to block the plow, as police claimed.

“Maybe the prosecutor saw no advantage to go to court for such a trivial incident,” Lowy said.

Police acknowledge the case was dropped last month. But Prosecutor Melissa Kowalewski stressed that Lowy accepted a plea bargain that allows for police to bring the disorderly conduct charge forward if he gets into trouble within a year’s time.

“We feel our case is a completely provable and triable case,” Kowalewski said.

Lowy, who holds a doctorate from University of California Berkeley and worked at BAE Systems, said the snowplow had twice passed by his driveway and was about to make a third pass when it stopped as he shoveled the snow at the end of his driveway.

The plow truck just waited there until police arrived, he said. Lowy called the police report — which said he stood in front of the plow — a complete fantasy.

“The driver of the truck and I know exactly what happened,” Lowy said. “I was all the time on my driveway.”

Lowy’s lawyer, Eric Wilson of Nashua, said he was ready to go to trial when the prosecution accepted the plea bargain.

“I can’t force the prosecution to have a trial,” he said.

Kowalewski said the agreement provided justice. She said several factors were taken into account, including Lowy’s clean criminal record, his age, the charge and the ability to bring the charge forward if Lowy is arrested again.

Lowy said he wants to let people know he’s been cleared because he hasn’t been able to get a job since February. He said after his arrest, the atmosphere at the financial services company where he held a temporary position changed immediately. He continued working until the job ended, he said.

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