Police in Hopkinton and Westerly have filed charges against an North Stonington man who is accused of stealing a cellphone from a Westerly man and harassing him and his family at their home.
Morgan Samuel Dean, 39, of 29 Clark Falls Road, North Stonington, turned himself in to Hopkinton police on Aug. 22 on a warrant charging him with simple assault or battery and larceny from a person. He was arraigned in Fourth Division District Court the same day on the Hopkinton charges and on Westerly charges of simple assault or battery and two counts each of intimidating a witness and disorderly conduct.
The court also issued an order requiring Dean to return to the Westerly Police Department to complete his booking. "We are still waiting for him to comply," Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said.
The charges stem from a series of confrontations between Dean and a 56-year-old Westerly resident. The police said the men knew each other and had both served in the U.S. Marine Corps, but had not spoken to each other in years.
The victim went to the Hopkinton Police Department around 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 11 to report an incident that took place earlier in the day. The victim said that Dean flashed his lights behind him near Crandall Field in Ashaway around 4 p.m. as the victim was towing a trailer on Route 3. The victim said he pulled over, thinking there may have been a problem with the trailer.
He said that Dean aggressively approached his driver's side window. According to the arrest warrant, "Without warning, Mr. Dean reached in the window and struck him twice on the left side of the head." The victim told police he was holding his cellphone and dropped it to defend himself, and Dean grabbed it and left. The victim did not report any injuries, the police said.
The next day, Aug. 12, the victim's adult daughter called the Westerly police shortly before 1 p.m. to report that Dean had showed up at their Greenman Avenue home with a metal ball attached to a two-by-four, tapping it on the surface of the entrance. The police said he knocked, asked the victim's daughter if her father was home, and told her to "let him know I stopped by."
Around 6:30 p.m. that same day, Lacey said officers again responded to the Greenman Avenue home after a confrontation between the two men. The police said the victim told them he was preparing to get in his car when Dean grabbed his arm and told him, "we need to talk." The police said he was carrying a can of pepper spray.
Lacey said the victim's brother, who owns the house, grabbed a .45-caliber handgun, pointed it over a hedge at Dean and demanded that he leave. Dean eventually left, in the same manner he came — riding in a pickup truck driven by a friend. Lacey said the confrontation was captured by a surveillance camera.
The truck was located, but Dean was no longer with the driver. Unable to find Dean, the police applied for arrest warrants, Lacey said.
Dean spoke with the The Sun on Aug. 20, before turning himself in. He denied hitting the victim. He said that the victim — whom he accused in a written statement of distributing drugs in North Stonington — willingly offered him the cellphone to prove his innocence. Dean also denied pulling on the victim's arm while approaching his home on Aug. 12 and said he was there to return the phone. He said he left Aug. 13 for "a scheduled vacation" to visit a military friend in Ohio.
Capt. Mark Carrier said Dean relayed the allegation about the victim to Hopkinton officers during his booking on Aug. 22, but has not filed a complaint. Westerly police also said Dean has not filed any complaint with them, and both Lacey and Carrier said they were not aware of any such allegations.
When Dean returned from his trip on Aug. 15, he was arrested by Stonington police on a charge of being a fugitive from justice. Records show he was released after posting a $7,000 cash bond.
Dean did not enter a plea to any of the Rhode Island charges during his initial appearance, court records show. He was released after posting a combined $30,000 in surety bonds, or $3,000 cash, and is due in Washington County Superior Court for a felony screening in October.
Connecticut court records show that Dean is due back in court in September, but extradition charges are likely to be dropped at that time.
Dean has had several other run-ins with the authorities. In 2016, he was involved in a fight with Stonington highway employees. In late 2018, he was arrested again after being accused of harassing the family of Stephen Bessette, moderator of the Stonington Community Forum Facebook page. No dates have been set for a trial in that case.