Father of Sexting Son Arraigned on Police Assault Charges
By: Brent Runyon
A West Falmouth man who came to national attention two years ago due to his son's involvement in the sexting controversy at Lawrence School was arrested early yesterday morning on a warrant and for allegedly hitting an officer and resisting arrest.
Police served a warrant for the arrest of Brian J. Hunt, 46, of Blacksmith Shop Road at 6:03 AM. The warrant was from New Bedford court for failure to pay fines related to motor vehicle offenses.
Police Officers David Massi and James Porter said Mr. Hunt’s wife let them into the house and they spoke to him about the warrant.
Mr. Hunt told police he had recently had surgery on his stomach and asked to have the handcuffs put on in the front. Police agreed to put the cuffs on in the front, but when they began to take him into custody, police said, Mr. Hunt flailed his arms and he ended up on the floor.
Police said Mr. Hunt was on his stomach and refused to bring his arms around back, so they used a distraction technique, hitting him with their fists on the back of the thigh, spokesman Sergeant Douglas M. DeCosta said, and were able to place him in handcuffs.
Officer Massi said Mr. Hunt hit him in the face with his elbow during the incident. Police then arrested Mr. Hunt for assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest.
He was taken to the Falmouth Police station, but he complained of pains in his stomach and knee and he was taken to Falmouth Hospital by Falmouth Fire Rescue.
Mr. Hunt was arraigned at the hospital, police said.
Mr. Hunt’s attorney, J. Drew Segadelli, said the police version of events is not accurate. He said officers came into the house without being invited, refused to allow Mr. Hunt to put the handcuffs on in the front, even though he told them about his recent surgery, and punched him numerous times in the knee, while kneeing him in the back once they had him on the ground.
It was highly unusual for officers to react that way on a warrant for motor vehicle offenses, Mr. Segadelli said.
“The facts of the case are troubling enough that they could draw one to the conclusion that he was being unfairly targeted, but I don’t have all the facts yet.”
The charges had not been filed at Falmouth District Court, and Mr. Segadelli said he was not aware that Mr. Hunt had been arraigned.
Falmouth Police Chief Anthony J. Riello denied that the police department had targeted Mr. Hunt in any way. “We do not target people,” Chief Riello said.
“If someone breaks the law and there’s a warrant for their arrest, we do our job,” Chief Riello said. “From what I understand right now, having spoken to all the officers, the proper procedure was followed.”
Police must use physical restraints for the safety of the officer and the subject in some cases, Chief Riello said.
Mr. Hunt’s sister, Mary Jane Hunt, said his son took video of the incident with his cell phone.
Chief Riello said his officers were aware of the video and asked if the Hunt family wanted to submit a copy of the video into evidence.
“There’s some notion out there that we tried to confiscate the cell phone, that is absolutely not true,” Chief Riello said.
Officers accommodated Mr. Hunt by allowing him to place the handcuffs on in front of his body, Chief Riello said, which is a violation of normal police procedure.
Officers could have used mace to subdue him once he began to resist, he said, but chose not to.
Mr. Hunt and his son made national news two years ago when he spoke out against child pornography distribution charges against his then-13-year-old son, who forwarded a semi-nude picture of a Lawrence School female classmate on his cellphone.
Mr. Hunt appeared on national television programs and wrote a book about his experiences dealing with the charges against his son, which were eventually dropped. Mr. Hunt criticized the police for unfairly targeting the teens.
Earlier this year Mr. Hunt was arrested for drug conspiracy charges during a large-scale drug arrest by federal, state and local officials. Police confiscated a limousine owned by Executive Transport and Limousine, a company owned by Mr. Hunt. Those charges are still pending at Falmouth District Court.
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