For Immediate Release: 9/25/2017 2:17 pm
Worcester, MA (September 25, 2017) - On Saturday, September 23, 2017, a Worcester Police officer was working a bar detail at the Compass Tavern, located at 90 Harding Street. At approximately 1:44 AM, the bar was emptying due to closing time. At this time the officer observed a group of people fist fighting in the parking lot.
The detail officer and club security went to break up the fight. As the officer approached he began to identify himself and separate the combatants. One male involved in the fight, later identified as Michael Gabaree, 33-years-old of 2 Tanglewood Circle, Rutland, ignored the officer and continued to fight. The second male involved in the fight, later identified as Justin Normandin, 28-years-old of 77 Alder Drive, Leominster, ignored the officer as well and continued to fight.
The officer attempted to remove Mr. Normandin but he resisted and took a fighting stance towards the officer. After a brief struggle Mr. Normandin was placed under arrest and charged with Resisting Arrest and Disorderly conduct.
At this time a large hostile crowd began to form around the officer. The officer feared for his safety and called for additional police officers to respond.
The officer now noticed that Mr. Gabaree was still on scene and causing a disturbance by yelling and swearing at the officer. Mr. Gabaree refused to leave after the officer gave several commands to do so. Mr. Gabaree threatened to fight the officer if he made him leave. Since Mr. Gabaree refused to leave the area he was now told that he was under arrest. Mr. Gabaree resisted the officer’s efforts to handcuff him by pulling away from him. While pulling away from the officer, Mr. Gabaree elbowed the officer in the neck. Mr. Gabaree was now violently resisting the officer’s efforts to handcuff him. During the struggle, the officer noticed that that he was reaching for his waistband. This action caused the officer to fear that he may be reaching for a weapon. At this time assisting officers arrived at the scene and tackled Mr. Gabaree to the ground. While on the ground officers were then able to handcuff him. Once secured, Mr. Gabaree was searched. The search produced a folding knife in his pant pocket.
During this incident the unruly crowd grew even larger. Additional officers were called to the scene and eventually dispersed the crowd without further incident.
During the struggle to secure Mr. Gabaree the officer injured his knee but remained on duty.
Mr. Gabaree was charged with Assault and Battery on a Police Officer, Resisting Arrest, Disorderly Conduct and Possession of a Dangerous Weapon.
Both men will be arraigned today at the Worcester County District Courthouse.