Chief Michael R. Begonis
1 Adelaide Street
Wilmington, MA 01887
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Two Wilmington Police Officers Injured by Knife-Wielding Suspect
Police Chief Praises “Tremendous Restraint” by Officers
WILMINGTON — Police Chief Michael R. Begonis reports that two police officers were injured today when Wilmington Police responded to an emergency call for a knife-wielding man who was attacking civilians at the Wilmington Commuter Rail Station.
Wilmington Police were called to the train station, located at 411 Main St. at 3:39 p.m. Officers arrived quickly and found two civilians, who had locked themselves in their vehicles, reporting that a visibly agitated man, who they did not know, approached them with a knife and started yelling at them. When the civilians locked themselves in their cars, the suspect allegedly slashed two tires and ran off.
Police gave pursuit and quickly located the suspect. The suspect ran towards an elevated railroad platform and jumped off. The suspect then attacked the responding police officers and engaged in a 25-minute standoff with police, who tried to subdue the suspect. However, neither pepper spray nor the use of less lethal 40mm “sponge rounds” had any effect on the suspect, who was yelling and making aggressive gestures towards officers.
An off-duty Concord Police Officer, who is a member of the North East Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council SWAT Team, was in the area returning from a training session in Billerica when he saw the scene and responded to assist. He used a Taser to help subdue the suspect.
However, as officers were trying to disarm the suspect and take him into custody, a Wilmington Police Officer sustained a serious laceration while trying to remove the knife from the suspect’s hands.
As a result of today’s incident, SETH A. MATHER, AGE 28, OF MAYNARD was arrested and charged with:
- Assault with Intent to Murder
- Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon
- Disorderly Conduct
- Resisting Arrest
- Malicious Destruction of Property
MATHER was briefly evaluated at a local hospital before being released and booked. He is being held pending a bail hearing at the Wilmington Police Department. He is expected to be arraigned tomorrow in Woburn District Court.
Chief Begonis praised the work of his officers for their life-saving work today.
“Today, our police officers put themselves between civilians and a dangerous, armed suspect. They showed tremendous restraint in defense of human life, despite a suspect who seemed intent on doing harm to them and others,” Chief Begonis said. “This situation could have turned tragic had it not been for the professionalism of the responding officers. Their restraint in the face of grave and imminent danger is a testament to the officers’ commitment to performing their duties with respect and compassion.”
Chief Begonis identified the officer who received the laceration as Officer Paul Chalifour, a decorated 28-year veteran of the department. He was treated at a Boston hospital for his injuries. A second responding officer fell from an icy train platform while pursuing the suspect. He continued the pursuit despite his injuries. Officer Louis Martigetti, a 25-year veteran Wilmington Police Officer, was being treated at a local hospital tonight.
MATHER is not known to police, and police are investigating what his motivation may have been for his alleged actions today.
These are allegations. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.