22-year-old charged in violent assault on man outside supermarket

22-year-old charged in violent assault on man outside supermarket

ATHOL, Mass. — A 22-year-old man has been ordered to undergo an evaluation following a violent fight outside a supermarket in Athol on Thursday.

Police received multiple 911 calls just after 3:30 p.m. for a reported fight in the parking lot of the Market Basket on Tower Road.

A Market Basket employee told police a man, later identified as Matthew Brown, 22, of Leominster, was yelling at the victim and then started punching him in the face. The employee said Brown then picked up a shopping cart and threw it at the victim. A witness stepped in and tackled Brown to the ground.

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The first officer to arrive at the scene was able to get Brown into handcuffs.

“Mr. Brown was growling and screaming at the top of his lungs and spitting everywhere,” the officer wrote in his report.

The officer said Brown had created such a disturbance, he drew the attention of shoppers and passing drivers. The officer then placed him in the back of his cruiser.

“Mr. Brown continued to yell and was rocking the cruiser back and forth from slamming his body against the inside of the door,” the officer wrote.

The officer then spoke with the 62-year-old victim, who had a bloodied face. The victim said Brown was his girlfriend’s son, but they didn’t live together.

The victim told the officer Brown punched him in the face after they got into a fight. When the officer asked the victim about the shopping cart, the victim said he didn’t remember anything about a shopping cart. However, the officer noted fresh blood splatter on the shopping cart appeared to have come from injuries on the side of the victim’s face. The victim didn’t want to be taken to the hospital by ambulance.

The officer said when he returned to the cruiser, Brown told him “he was doing so good,” and “I’m a disgrace to my entire family.” The officer said Brown then started to growl at him.

The officer said when he advised Brown he was under arrest, Brown started to hit his head off the cage in the cruiser and spit on the glass.

Brown was cooperative during the booking process, but once he was placed in a cell he started yelling again. He was eventually transferred to Franklin County House of Correction without incident.

Brown was arraigned Friday afternoon in Orange District Court on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a person 60 or older, assault and battery on a person 60 or older, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.

The judge ordered him to undergo an evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital to see if he’s competent to stand trial.

He’s due back Orange District Court on May 7 for a status hearing.

Boston 25 News reached out to the man who tackled Brown in the parking lot, but he didn’t want to be interviewed.