Somerville Parking Officer Accused of Spitting On and 'Bumping' Pedestrian

The officer is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into an incident in which he allegedly bumped into a pedestrian with his car.

A Somerville parking enforcement officer is on paid administrative leave after allegedly spitting on and "bumping" a pedestrian with his car.

The incident happened Aug. 14, at about 10:40 a.m., on Dane Street, according to a Somerville police report.

According to the report, the victim told police he was crossing Dane Street in a crosswalk when the parking enforcement officer—Anthony Silvestri, 58, of 252 Medford St.—drove up Dane Street and stopped short so as not to hit the victim.

After the narrow miss, the victim and Silvestri got into a heated argument, according to the report. 

The victim told police Silvestri spat on him then drove up Dane Street and into a parking lot, where he turned around and waited on the parking-lot ramp, the report says.

The victim went to the parking lot, stepped in front of Silvestri's car, a Jeep Liberty, and said he was going to call police, the report says.

Silvestri told the pedestrian to "get the [expletive] out of the way," and then he "bumped" the pedestrian more than once with his car, according to the victim's account in the report.

The report says the victim was not injured in the bumping.

Witness told police they saw the alleged bumping, and Silvestri told police he didn't intentionally bump anyone with his car, according to the report.

The victim's son called police, and so did a supervisor with the Department of Traffic and Parking, who said Silvestri had called concerning an accident he was involved in.

Police arrested Silvestri and charged him with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon—his car.

Silvestri is on  paid administrative leave pending an investigation, according to Jaclyn Rossetti, a spokesperson for the city of Somerville.

Please remember that allegations contained in police reports do not indicate a conviction.

Elizabeth Rose August 21, 2012 at 01:34 PM
I was parallel parking on Bow St and a guy from The Cape spit on my car as he drove by! He was mad that I inconvenienced him as I backed into the space. My window was open and the spit went inside my car too. I followed him and called the cops. They said I could file against him in court. I did. He showed up with his lawyer and we settled for $800. :)
Mari Anne Souza August 21, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Good for you, for following through with the complaint. Enjoy spending that $800.00.
Elizabeth Rose August 21, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Oh, I enjoyed it....and I bet that's the last time that guy from Nantucket is going to spit on someone from Somerville.
joan August 21, 2012 at 06:59 PM
It gives one pause to read about this rash of uncontrolled anger and hostile actions verging on assault that seem to be popping up out-of-the-blue between strangers and passers-by throughout Somerville. I suppose spitting and "bumping" with a vehicle inflict less harm than attacking someone with a knife or a gun or a machete. But what's the deal here? End-of-summer grumpiness? Full moon? Too much hot, muggy weather? Or is something more subtle is infecting our subconscious? Could the increasingly shrill, extreme nastiness, animosity, and falsehoods that are permeating the political discourse during this election season be to blame? It is hard to escape the attacks unless you completely boycott radio, TV, Facebook and a lot of what's on the internet. And with the conventions upon us, the campaigning is going to really start getting ugly. I predict that interactions on sidewalks and crosswalks, on roads, bike lanes and at intersections, in stores and other public places will become increasingly disagreeable and antagonistic over the next couple of months as the campaign crescendos to its climax on election day. Wish we could all concentrate on being civil and brush off the golden rule to get through it all intact. Look, I can dream can't I?
AHM August 22, 2012 at 10:10 AM
I think it is that some people get fustrated with trying to get around here in Somerville. It takes forever to get from part to another these days. Been here for 60 years plus so I see the difference. And it will get worse with scholl coming up and roads getting smaller and more construction and more cars coming into the city with more housing being added. Some cannot accept this and can't control themselves like human beings. I am on the road most of the day with my work and people are doing crazier things now including going over sidewalks and lawns and just coming close to killing anything that gets in their way. Road rage just seems to get bigger every year. For myself I just leave early an accept the fact that that's the way it is. And glad I am driving a truck and not a small car on a lot of days.
Matt C August 22, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Joan - The short answer to describe what the parking guy did is that he clearly has some severe issues that need to be addressed. What he did was reprehensible and he should loose his job. Overall I think the public discourse over issues both national and local in New England is overall pretty civil. I think this to be especially true when we consider our local issues. Of course there are hot heads, but overall people are willing to try to understand the "other side" even when it does not sway their opinion. I agree with your sentiment that we should all concentrate on being civil and adhering to the golden rule.
Ron Elliott August 22, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I moved to Boston from upstate NY 13 years ago, and like all of you, I see a lot of death-defying driving both in Somerville and around eastern MA in general. The only way I avoid constant rage and anxiety when behind the wheel is to try to remember to "pay it forward". Let somebody merge in front of you, make eye contact and wave to pedestrian to let them know you're not going to run them down while they cross, be fair when it comes to parking. It costs you very little in terms of time, and sometimes, it get passed along. I stop during morning rush hour to let another driver onto Washington St., and maybe that driver returns the favor to someone else a few blocks up. The only way we can really bring back civility, in discourse and on the road, is being civil to each other, one act at a time.
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