WESTERLY — A Bradford man who was arrested this morning and charged with trespassing on the Copar quarry property denies he has ever been on the property.
Steven Dubois, 52, of 181 Church St., Westerly, was charged with willful trespass on a warrant for his arrest. He was released after being processed at Westerly Police headquarters and is scheduled to appear in Fourth Division District Court on Jan. 3.
Westerly Police Chief Edward St. Clair said police received a complaint from Copar on Dec. 2 that Dubois was observed on the quarry property during the week of Nov. 25. The individual who allegedly saw Dubois on the property gave a formal statement to police, who then applied for an arrest warrant, St. Clair said.
Dubois strongly denied any wrongdoing.
“It’s completely not true. I’ve never been on that property and I never will,” Dubois said.
A frequent critic of Copar’s operations, Dubois said a neighbor of the quarry property saw him taking photographs from Route 216 (Church Street) of the entrance to the quarry property on Dec. 1. “I was taking pictures in front of the gate,” Dubois said.
Dubois said he believed the trespassing charge was part of an attempt to quiet him and was prompted by a recent complaint he filed with a court-appointed monitor of the quarry. Dubois said he reported that large amounts of stone dust blew through the Woody Hill Management Area, a state-owned nature preserve on the day that he allegedly trespassed. The management area borders part of the quarry property.
The entrance to the quarry property, Dubois said, is not owned by Copar or its landlord, Westerly Granite Co. Inc.
“If someone is complaining that I trespassed it can’t be them, they don’t even own that property,” Dubois said.
The quarry property is marked with signs prohibiting unauthorized entry and Dubois had been warned previously to stay off of the property, St. Clair said.
Dubois and his wife, Cheryl, are one of three couples who filed a lawsuit against Copar, Westerly Granite Co. Inc., and the town in January 2012, claiming the quarry operation was creating a health hazard and excessive noise in the neighborhood. The lawsuit also claims the town improperly issued a zoning certificate to Westerly Granite, allowing the quarry operation, and that the town was lax in its enforcement efforts because Westerly Granite Co. is comprised of members of the Comolli family.