“He never got close to them,” a police spokesman said. The Russell Disposal supervisor was arrested for possession of a dangerous weapon. Somerville Police Capt. Paul Uptonsaid emphatically Michael Lewis did not make hostile actions toward any of the union members on the scene.
A Russell Disposal supervisor was arrested Friday morning after he allegedly approached members of the Teamsters Local 25 union with a knife.
Michael Lewis, of Dorchester, approached the picketers carrying the six-inch knife by his side, Somerville Police Capt. Paul Upton said. Upton said Lewis was arrested by Officer James McNally and a Medford police officer at the scene as part of the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council force.
“He never got close to them,” Upton said. Lewis was arrested for possession of a dangerous weapon. Upton said emphatically Lewis did not make hostile actions toward any of the union members on the scene.
“He claimed he did not know he was doing anything wrong,” Upton said. “He claimed he was carrying the weapon for protection.”
Upton said Lewis claimed one of the Local 25 members punched him in the face for trying to get to work through the picket line during Thursday morning’s dispute.
Upton said he wanted to make sure protestors maintained their right to protest, and the workers who wanted to go to work had the right to do that as well.
“We don’t have a side here,” Upton said. “We’re here to keep the peace.” SPD acting Chief Robert Bradley visited the Russell facility at the McGrath Highway about 1 p.m. on Friday. He said he was pleased both sides were being civil.
“People are behaving themselves,” Bradley said. “I hope as days go on, people become rational and start acting like adults.”