WHITMAN, Mass. — 25 Investigates has learned Whitman Select Board Chairman Randy LaMattina is being summoned to court for an alleged road rage incident in the neighboring town of Abington. Abington Police filed a complaint against LaMattina with Brockton District Court listing four charges including impersonating a police officer and destruction of property, according to a copy of the summons obtained by 25 Investigates. A magistrate will decide if there’s enough evidence to send the case to arraignment.
LaMattina was traveling with his wife and daughter on Route 18 when their vehicle was rear ended at the intersection of Route 123. Thomas Richardson of Whitman told Boston 25 Investigative Reporter Ted Daniel the minor fender bender led to a major overreaction on LaMattina’s part. “I don’t know what progressed him to be so aggressive towards me, because I didn’t have any aggression towards him whatsoever,” Richardson explained during an interview at his Whitman home.
Richardson said he was traveling at 4 to 5 miles per hours when the crash happened. He said when LaMattina confronted him, he identified himself as a police officer. “He told me he was a cop. I’m a cop. He said, I’m a cop. On multiple occasions” Richardson said.
According to Richardson, LaMattina became so enraged he reached into his vehicle and grabbed his cell phone from the center console and ripped it from the car. Richardson said LaMattina broke his Weather Tec phone holder and ripped out his charging cord. When police arrived LaMattina returned the phone to Richardson.
“He was literally standing here like this reaching into my car,” said Richardson. “I’m like, ‘what are you doing? Dude? What’s going on? What is wrong with you?’”
LaMattina was first elected as a Whitman selectman in 2017 and appointed chairman in June of this year. He agreed to speak with 25 Investigates on camera about the allegations. He claims he identified himself to Richardson as a former police officer, saying, “the only thing I ever said was I was a police officer. I know what we need to do.” LaMattina was a former Quincy firefighter and said he served as a full-time police officer in Whitman from 2010 to 2011.
LaMattina said he believed Richardson was attempting to leave the crash scene before police arrived and that’s why he grabbed his phone. “I panicked. I grabbed his cell phone that was sitting in the cup holder. It was never my intention to deprive him of it, never my intention to break it,” he said.
LaMattina admitted it was, “probably” an error in judgement.
In an email to his fellow selectmen, LaMattina wrote, “Myself and my family were the victims of an accident with at this time unfounded accusations from the person who hit us.”
25 Investigates first learned of the altercation in late August days after it happened.
We made multiple attempts to confirm details with the Abington Police by email and in person.
Abington Police Chief David Del Papa denied 3 separate requests for records associated with the incident including a request for what’s commonly known as a public police log. In his written denial for the log, he called the request, “frivolous, or intended to intimidate or harass.”
25 Investigates asked Del Papa why he was withholding documents related to a case involving an elected public official. He did not respond to that question or a request for an on-camera interview.
LaMattina has no plans to step down or take time away from his role as Select Board Chair. By email, the Whitman Town Administrator said LaMattina is an elected official and his position with the town will not be impacted even if the complaint against him moves forward.
Thomas Richardson said he plans to attend LaMattina’s magistrate hearing next month. “If he accosted somebody else who might not have been so calm and collected, he could have been injured himself,” he said.
Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.
©2022 Cox Media Group