STONEHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Early Saturday morning at 1:05 a.m., Rapid Liquors in Stoneham received a not-so-welcome visitor during closed store hours. John Bacigalupo, a Revere man formerly convicted on intent to murder charges that were later overturned, allegedly crashed his car into side of the store on Main Street.
Police were dispatched to Rapid Liquors for a report of a triggered burglary alarm, where they allegedly found Bacigalupo near the cash registers smoking a cigar, drinking a beer, and eating potato chips.
Stoneham Police said that officers commanded Bacigalupo to exit the store, but he allegedly refused to comply, saying that he had a firearm and that officers needed to shoot him.
Two officers looking to de-escalate the situation deployed their TASER's three times on Bacigalupo, but the non-lethal electronic control weapon had no effect, police said. Bacigalupo allegedly got into a conflict with officers who were attempting to bring him into custody, police said. In the struggle an officer was allegedly struck in the face, with merchandise falling off shelves.
After Bacigalupo was in custody, he apparently refused medical treatment and was transported to the Stoneham Police Station where he was booked. According to police, he was charged with assault and battery on a police officer, breaking and entering in the nighttime, larceny under $1,200, malicious destruction of property under $1,200, malicious destruction of property over $1,200, and resisting arrest. Bacigalupo was set to be held on a $100,000 bail and was scheduled to be arraigned on Monday in Woburn District Court.
A spokesperson from the Stoneham Police Department confirmed that in 2001 John Bacigalupo had been formerly convicted on two counts of armed assault with intent to murder charges that were overturned for shootings dating back to 1996.
In 2009, the Supreme Judicial Court reversed Bacigalupo's conviction of murder on the grounds that an impermissible statement was made by a testifying witness that admitted Bacigalupo's co-defendant, Gary Carter, to both his and Bacigalupo's involvement in the shootings.
The SJC cited a United States Supreme Court decision that said that a non-testifying codefendant's confession implicating the defendant violated the defendants right to face the witness against him.