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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS

Grafton hunters say they were assaulted because they saw illegal doe kill

January 18, 2012

By Elaine Thompson, Telegram.com

GRAFTON — A former Upton reserve police officer, arraigned earlier this month for impersonating a police officer and holding two hunters at gunpoint near his home, had additional charges filed against him in Westboro District Court today.

Rocco Addeo, 51, of 120 Milford Road, was arraigned Jan. 4 on charges of impersonating an officer, assault and battery and armed kidnapping with a firearm. Grafton police said the alleged victims, Robert P. Gervais, 37, and Thomas J. Maffei, 50, both of Grafton, were lawfully hunting on public land when the incident occurred on Milford Road on Dec. 30.

Massachusetts Environmental Police filed additional charges of obstruction of hunting and fishing activities (commonly called hunter harassment), and witness intimidation. Westboro District Court Clerk Magistrate Mary Ann Pozzessere today found probable cause for the charges to go forward and scheduled arraignment for Feb. 15.

Ms. Pozzessere also found probable cause for related charges against Mr. Addeo's friend, Eric St. Onge, 29, of 11 Bluebird Drive, Grafton. He will be arraigned on charges of unlawful killing of a deer, hunting an antlerless deer without a permit, and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building on Feb. 15.

According to court records, Mr. Gervais and Mr. Maffei saw Mr. St. Onge illegally kill a doe closer than 500 feet from homes on Milford Road.

When Mr. St. Onge approached the two hunters, they allegedly told him they saw him shoot the deer down near the road and houses. Mr. St. Onge told the hunters that they should leave the area because the man at the bottom of the hill, Rocco Addeo, was an Upton police officer and he would be angry they were on his land.

The hunters protested that they were on public land and not on posted private property. According to court records, a short time later the men saw Mr. Addeo running toward them with a handgun pointed at them. Mr. Addeo allegedly yelled at them and demanded that they get down on the ground and lay their guns on the ground.

The hunters told police that Mr. Addeo, who was a stranger to them, demanded to see their hunting licenses while screaming and holding his finger on the trigger the entire time he held them at gunpoint.

After a few minutes, Mr. Addeo allegedly put the gun away and told the hunters he wanted things to calm down and they all walked out to the road together.

Mr. Maffei repeatedly told Mr. Addeo that they had done nothing wrong and that he did not have a right to point a gun at them. When Mr. Maffei asked Mr. Addeo if he was a police officer, he allegedly replied: “That's beside the point.”

The hunters told police that they had felt intimidated and threatened by Mr. Addeo and that they were in fear for their lives. They said they believed that they had been harassed and threatened because they had seen a deer being shot illegally.

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