DA: Man tried to throw wheelchair-bound wife into Boston’s Fort Port Channel

BOSTON — A man is facing criminal charges after prosecutors say he lifted his wife out of her wheelchair and attempted to throw her over a railing into Boston’s Fort Port Channel earlier this week because he thought she was an “imposter.”

Jonathan Pinney, 38, of Boston, was arraigned Thursday in Boston Municipal Court on charges of assault and battery on a family or household member and assault and battery on a disabled person, according to Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden.

Officers responding to a 911 call for an assault in progress in the area of Summer and Melcher streets around 3 p.m. Wednesday spoke with a witness who said he saw Pinney lift the victim from her wheelchair and attempt to throw her over the railing and into the Fort Point Channel below, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors noted that the victim, who officers noted was shaking and attempting to catch her breath, confirmed the witness’s account. The victim was transported to Tufts Medical Center for treatment.

Pinney was tracked down a short while later following a search of the area. While being booked, Pinney allegedly told officers that he believed his wife was an “imposter” and was attempting to “dump her” into the channel.

Pinney is said to also have a history of crimes in Illinois, California, and Arkansas.

In a statement, Hayden said, “Considering the air and water temperatures Wednesday, along with the victim’s disability, we would likely be looking at a far more tragic scenario had this man been successful in his stated intent.”

A judge sent Pinney to Bridgewater State Hospital for a 20-day clinical evaluation.

Pinney is due back in court on April 14.

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