According to his attorney, Michael Joyce wasn’t trying to start a bonfire on Humarock Beach or save the wooden pallets the town was collecting but rather Joyce was protecting his grandchildren from a front-end loader that was backing up onto the beach in the dark of night.
Joyce stepped in front of the truck, stopping the vehicle and was then arrested by Scituate Police for disorderly conduct around 9PM.
“They threw him to the ground and brutalized him,” says Attorney Michael Judge.
Joyce’s attorney says the retired Humarock resident suffered several wounds, including bloody wrists from handcuff handling. He was taken to South Shore Hospital by police after the arrest.
Because of a decision by Selectmen to ban beach bonfires this year, the loader was trying to collect the pallets which police suspected would be used to start a fire. But Attorney Judge says the pallets weren’t Joyce’s and they had been there for days.
Scituate officials originally proposed to dismiss the charges upon Joyce’s payment of court costs but they’ve changed their mind. “At the time the offer was made, Mr. Joyce was not represented by counsel. [He] made the decision that he wanted to run everything through counsel, he’s retained our office and the town has now withdrawn their offer and is prosecuting,” says Judge.
Joyce pleaded not guilty to charges Wednesday morning in Hingham District Court. A pre-trial is scheduled for September 19th.