Officer placed on leave after incident at headquarters

Chief cites ‘issues involving his conduct’ as reason

  • May 8, 2017

LAWRENCE — A veteran police sergeant who drove himself to headquarters while off duty about 1:30 a.m. Friday and then became involved in an incident in the building has been put on leave with pay pending an internal investigation, Police Chief James Fitzpatrick said Monday.

Fitzpatrick said the officer was placed on leave due to issues involving his conduct, but would not provide details pending the outcome of the investigation.

Fitzpatrick also would not identify the officer. However, the only officer put on leave over the weekend was Sgt. Maurice Aguiler.

Fitzpatrick said the officer was found standing by his car outside the station and was brought inside, where a dispatcher called 911 for an ambulance. The call lasted only seconds. A recording reveals that the dispatcher asked for an ambulance at the employee entrance of police headquarters, but said she had “no idea why” one was needed.

Fitzpatrick said an incident report has not been submitted. The incident also was not recorded in Friday night’s police blotter.

Fitzpatrick said the officer declined medical attention when the ambulance arrived. He remained at the station for “a period of time” and was not allowed to drive his car from the station, Fitzpatrick said. An on-duty officer drove him home. He returned for his car Saturday.

Mayor Daniel Rivera would not comment on the incident, but spoke generally about police conduct.

“We will continue to hold all public safety officers to high standards and discipline those that fail to meet those standards,” Rivera said.

Aguiler, 49, has been on the force since 2004. He earns $73,000 annually.

He is the third of the Lawrence Police Department’s 130 sworn officers now on paid leave.

Officer William Green, who is running for mayor, was put on leave on Jan. 3 after Fitzpatrick accused him of several incidents of misconduct, including incompetence, insubordination, neglect of duty and disrespecting superior officers. Officer Ivan Melendez was put on leave Feb. 23 after taking home a handgun owned by a man Melendez found sleeping in his car. Both men contested the charges at departmental hearings. Rulings in both cases are pending.

Aguiler fatally shot a man who had stabbed his girlfriend in his Melrouse Street apartment on April 26, 2016 and then engaged police in a standoff. Aguiler fired after the man pointed a gun – later found to be jammed and inoperable – out the window of the apartment. District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett found the shooting of the man, Antonio Gonzalez, 27, was justified.


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