The Massachusetts Appeals Court has upheld a Newton man's conviction for pushing two Jehovah's Witnesses who'd rung his door - sending one to the hospital with a broken shoulder and arm after she lost her balance and fell.
Neal Farber was arrested on Aug. 13, 2008 after allegedly pushing the two 60-something women away from his house after first screaming at them that he was tired of them and their religion.
Farber acknowledged yelling at the women, but said he didn't push them; both, he said, tripped on his crappy front walkway, in bad need of repair.
A Middlesex County jury disagreed, and in an unpublished ruling last week, the appeals court said Farber got a fair trial and that it wasn't the responding police officer's fault if Farber kept talking to him even after being advised of his rights. The court summarized the events of the day:
The defendant, who had been working in his upstairs office, came downstairs and opened the door. Ms. Noone identified herself and Ms. Johns as Jehovah's witnesses and started to talk about a tract that was in her hand. The defendant had worked at home for many years and Jehovah's Witnesses had come to his home on several occasions. Each time he had told them that he did not want anyone coming to his home and trying to convert him to their religion. After learning the women's intentions to speak to him about the bible, the defendant yelled at them to leave. As they turned to leave, the defendant followed them outside, yelling, 'nobody wants you around here,' and 'your religion shits.' The two women went down the walkway followed by the defendant, who was still yelling at them. His voice got louder as he came closer to them.