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Wellesley woman charged with running down, dragging state trooper at Logan Airport

Wellesley stock broker Margaret Greer, 57, faces charges of assault and battery on a police officer and assault with a dangerous weapon following the Sunday evening incident, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office.

Prosecutors charge Greer refused to move when a state trooper told her to get her Mercedes SUV out of a bus stop at Terminal B around 8:40 p.m.; that she in fact rolled up her window after he said she could either circle the airport or go to a nearby "cell phone" lot. At that point, according to the DA's office, the trooper began to write her a ticket:

[A]at which point Greer allegedly accelerated sharply forward and to the left, striking the trooper with her passenger side mirror. As she stopped for oncoming traffic, the trooper approached the vehicle and opened the driver's side door while ordering her out. Instead, Greer allegedly drove forward and closed the door.

When she stopped for traffic again, the trooper walked to the front of the SUV and told her to put the vehicle in park. Greer allegedly accelerated directly toward the trooper, forcing him to run backward for about 15 feet before he was able to jump away toward the driver's side. Once again, the trooper opened her door and ordered her out, this time reaching inside and attempting to unfasten her seat belt.

Greer allegedly sped away from the terminal at this point, dragging the trooper a short distance. After releasing the vehicle, he broadcast the car's description and plate number. Additional State Police units later stopped Greer on the Massachusetts Turnpike near the Columbus Avenue overpass, noting that her passenger's side mirror – which had allegedly struck the trooper earlier – was still folded in toward the body of the vehicle.

State Police say that when finally stopped, Greer denied having been at the airport at all that day and that she was driving homer from her job at Merrill Lynch.

The DA's office says it has a number of civilian witnesses, including:

One, a bus driver, said she was right next to the SUV when Greer "drove away with the door open, dragging the trooper. ... I had about sixty people on my bus. They were terrified by what they saw. My legs are still shaking."

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

Was the dangerous weapon a broach with blinking LEDs?

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is in what looks like a grassy area next to a taxiway. That's 'taxi' as in airplane, not cab.

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I know, I know, it's hard to get exact coordinates for "Terminal B Logan Airport" (or maybe I'm just not trying hard enough).

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I really can't understand how someone (allegedly) treats a state cop like that and thinks they'll get away with out any serious repercussions. Bizarre. I'll take the ticket over jail, but that's me.

Based on a quick google search, it appears a Margaret Greer is a VP at Smith Barney. Nothing on her listing about a background in aggressive driving.

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It sounds like an escalating panic reaction to me.

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stock brokers are used to operating with impunity with our nation's wealth, why should things be different at the airport?

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Think it could work?

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and what an awful movie that was.

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In fact, the RMV should pay her a retention bonus because she was still driving! [/snark]

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I was waiting at the airport once when I saw a woman back a high-end minivan into another vehicle, denting it and breaking some of the front corner lights. (this was back when you could leave your car for a minute or two without a tow away)She got out, looked at what she did, then drove off like nothing happened. I wrote down the important information, and hailed a trooper to come have a look.

From what I later learned when I was aksed for an affidavit that described how she saw what she did and still drove off, this "hit and run" was the culmination of a very spotty driving record for Ms. Suburbia. She was trying to pull the the "gee I didn't know I hit anything" principle. I guess a casually-dressed woman standing next to a ratty ford station wagon and staring at her didn't exist in her world.

IMAGE(http://fa.smithbarney.com/facilityimages/sb382364_2d3e54de-423d-e4e0-45449c6167ce9794.jpg) innocent, etc.

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Now in addition to finding out when she was married, where she lives, and who she gives political contributions to, any observer (read future employer or in-law) will be able to learn about Margaret Greer's great adventure at Logan.

But maybe they'll be so befuddled they'll think she races greyhounds in Australia or teaches Spanish in Texas.

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What no one here has acknowledged (and this will bring all the cop haters out) is that people routinely defy orders from the troopers at the airport to move their vehicles. I have never seen anything like it, and I see it everyday. The thing that really surprises me is that the troopers are as patient and understanding as they are.

Everyone needs to understand that the troopers are doing only what they have been ordered to do by their superiors, who have been ordered to maintain the curbs clear of vehicles, except those *actively* loading or unloading, by the TSA. There are good reasons for this - the simplest one being that an area congested with people and vehicles (so congested that no one can move) and located underneath a structure (Terminal B parking garage) is the most appealing target for a car bomb (see any number of examples from Baghdad marketplaces to Canary Wharf).

But there is another issue here. When the hell did people begin believing that they could disobey a direct order from a police officer with impunity? If you think you are being so badly mistreated, write a letter or bring a civil suit later. I suspect that these people do not do so because they know that they are were the wrong in the first place. Or perhaps it was because they were raised by people who told them, "oh no, Margaret, you're not wrong, it was Jane's fault."

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When the hell did people begin believing that they could disobey a direct order from a police officer with impunity?

When the cop in question is ordering you to do something illegal and/or dangerous (such as ordering a road cyclist onto a crowded sidewalk marked "no bikes" when there is no emergency reason to do so)

Of course, the airport doesn't fall under this situation. It has more signs telling you that the cops will make you move than it has signs that properly guide you through the maze or to the appropriate places to wait for buses. Recorded announcements, too. They even put in a cel phone lot - late, sure, but it exists and works quite nicely.

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move onto a sidewalk when there is a sign saying "no bikes", then you are allowed to go onto that sidewalk and ride your bike. Its not up to you to decide what law to obey or not obey when an officer tells you to do something. There might be a reason to get off the road and/or onto a sidewalk, and cops do have the right to negate traffic patterns, lights and laws where necessary.

Of course if the cop is telling you that is ok to brak a specific law and there is no reason then thats a different story....

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Not what I was taught, but, then again, I grew up in an America where there was something called the "rule of law".

Then again, the MDC cops had three separate court orders barring them from harassing cyclists on the Longfellow ... and now there is a bike path where the cops used to hassle people.

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Like if the traffic lights aren't working at a particular intersction, and the cop tells you to stop at a green light, but you dont because you think the green light outranks the officers command....

or if there is an oil spill or glass or some other hazzard in the road, and a cop directs you onto a sidewalk or off of your bike because it is unsafe to continue on the road, you simply cannot continue on the road contrary to the cops orders because you know the law says you can bike or ride on that particular road....

Ill look up the specific law for you tommorow but cops can direct traffic contrary to signs, signals and laws where deemed necessary.

My point was that cops do have the right to direct traffic contrary to certain laws when necessary.

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But your take seems to be that people must do what ever a cop tells them to do no matter what - that the cops are the law and they decide for ever and always.

I feel it is necessary to point out that while police enforce laws, they do not make laws and they are subject to laws themselves - whether they or you like it or not.

A critical difference between a police state and a democratic republic operating under the rule of law, I'd say.

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I think it makes sense that citizens follow instructions from law enforcement by default. (Exception being things like officer instructing to drive forward, but driver sees that would cause an accident.) In a situation, there might not be time to convince the citizen that instructions are proper.

There also needs to be a mechanism for dealing with improper instructions by officers after the fact, to prevent abuses/sloppiness and to maintain confidence in the police force that the officer represents.

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I meant in particular MV laws where cops can tell people to act against the law legally.

Police cannot do that with other laws (like telling someone its ok to assault someone else, or take something with out permession etc....)

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When the hell did people begin believing that they could disobey a direct order from a police officer with impunity?

That's bizarre and disturbing - I agree.

You say "trooper", so I assume it's staties that patrol Logan. But could low public opinion of the Boston police contribute to a general disrespect for LEOs?

I spent 12 years in Virginia, and best I remember, the police there were respected (despite the MA-like proliferation of parks police, VA/MD/DC police, etc.). In fact, I once saw a car full of teens go speeding by on the shoulder with some sort of police-insignia license plate, and the state troopers' office was concerned enough to send a trooper by to discuss the incident with me. They seemed to understand that cops are held to an exemplary standard. And growing up in New York, the idea of "New York's finest" was my default image of the police.

But here? Where Boston cops get arrested and it doesn't even make the front page? Where the union runs a dishonest campaign for "safety" through construction details, when we'd actually *support* the real reason (cops don't get paid enough)? Where cops don't even bother to FACE the traffic they're supposed to be directing? Where a thuggish, vocal minority make fools of the rest of the department, and the only public comment is support from the union?

Legally, morally, there's usually no excuse for disobeying a police officer. If you think they're acting on false authority, you do what they say, and you file a complaint (or even a lawsuit) later.

But psychologically: the way to get people to listen to you is by commanding their respect, not by wearing riot gear. Boston police have an image problem.

I think a broken-windows approach could go a long way, but in this town, I have little hope of seeing it.

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The truly amazing part to me is this:

According to police, Greer allegedly denied having been at the airport that day. She allegedly told troopers that she was driving home from her job at Merrill Lynch in downtown Boston.

After the whole thing is over, she's finally caught, and still won't fess up.

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Smith Barney is not Merrill Lynch. They are competitors. Is it possible that both companies employ different people with this name?

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that the woman who works for one co. drives the same sort of car as the one who works for the other co. and they just happened to pick up the "wrong" VP...

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Or, another chapter in that long running saga: Thank God This Is a Two-Newspaper Town.

The Globe's version starts:

Perhaps you've been there, idling in front of an airport terminal hoping your family member or long-lost college buddy appears before the approaching state trooper shoos you away. Margaret M. Greer was told to move along Sunday evening as she waited for her husband at Logan Airport, but police say she didn't go quietly - and ended up in court because of it.

Yawn. Now let's move to the Herald:

With a boozy glass in the cup holder of her Mercedes-Benz SUV and a state trooper's handprints on its hood, a high-profile Wellesley portfolio manager struck and dragged the officer at Logan International Airport rather than relinquish her curbside pickup spot, authorities allege.

Of course, one might question whether the Herald really needed to assign three reporters to the story, but then again, this is their bread and butter.

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There's definitely a place for both papers.

The Globe's lede was dainty, and the Herald's was picturesque.

Both articles report pretty much the same information.

Where I think the differences really go wrong is that Herald adds a bit about ambushing the suspect at her home, and runs a photo of the ambush that should have been culled for technical reasons alone, besides inappropriateness. (The photog might have been cleverly trying to draw parallels between the subject's behavior in the original incident and in the Herald ambush, but it looks like a safety shot that was actually a miss.)

In general, I'd like to see the Herald provide a counterpoint to the Globe -- somewhat different priorities and perspectives, but fair and intelligent reporting just the same -- and for the two papers to help keep each other honest. Both papers do some good journalism, but then the Herald does stuff like the reporting of this ambush, which keeps the bar low and gives the Globe the go-ahead to indulge its own vices on other stories.

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No matter where Margaret Greer lives, the woman's behaviour was dangerously irresponsible and totally indefensible, and she really should not get off after what she did: driving under the influence of alcohol, and attempting to run over a trooper. If, indeed, she ends up losing her job, her marriage and/or the respect of her colleagues, it won't be surprising. All of this raises a question: How come she's no longer a Wellesley School Committee member? (lol)

However, to be blunt about Logan Airport: as several commenters pointed out on that article, Logan Airport is one of the toughest, if not the toughest to drive around in, and about the most unfriendly, not to mention one of the most, if not the most poorly-designed airport around, which doesn't help. Many of the staties get nasty and scream at a person who stands there for even a minute, even without a great deal of traffic around. My saying this is based on experience. Not pleasant.

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I find it hard to believe that a person of her alleged importance (with an equally important husband) didn't already know what even you know: That Logan's a tough place to just sit in front of a terminal - especially at a frickin' bus stop.

So what do you do? You either use the cell-phone lot or you park in Central Parking. And since you're so important (referring to her, not you), you park your big-ass Mercedes SUV in one of the hybrid-only spaces right near the elevators because you can and because you're too important with having to park further away. And then you walk over to the terminal (they even have those movin' sidewalk thingees now, will wonders never cease). And if your high-flying husband is laden down with suitcases full of heavy jewelry, you spend the $3 or whatever it is to get one of those cart things. Or you have your manservant carry them (I'm assuming a manservant is involved somewhere here).

What you don't do, allegedly, is take off with a state trooper still attached to your car.

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It sounds like, at some point, she wasn't thinking clearly, for whatever reason.

Whether she was thinking clearly at the start of the encounter, or playing a stereotype of privilege at that time, is a different question.

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There is the Cel Phone lot and the curb if you don't want to park, but I have found it worthwhile to hang out at a more remote spot away from the doors. The cops don't move you along from there as often (generally 15 minutes instead of 5), and your friend or relative is usually reaching the curb zone by the time they do.

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The reports I saw didn't say anything like "Wildgrube was treated at ___ hospital and released," so I assumed he was fine.

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