Amesbury woman accused of attacking neighbor charged with new offense | News
AMEBSURY — An Amesbury woman accused of attacking her neighbor with pliers after setting fire to her doormat last week saw a home invasion charge added to the many she already faces.
Joanne Feldman, 82, of Brown Avenue, was charged last Tuesday with arson of a building, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon of a person over 60, malicious destruction of property over and under $1,200, and assault with a dangerous weapon of a person over 60. Following her arraignment on those charges in Newburyport District Court the next day, Feldman was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing for Wednesday.
Feldman was also scheduled to be arraigned on the new charge Wednesday in the same court but both matters were postponed until April 8, to give a court clinician time to determine whether she is competent to stand trial.
According to court records, Feldman has a history of mental illness, has been violent toward others in the past, and has a history of restraining orders taken out against her.
Amesbury police Officers Samuel Marlar, Liam Leary and Noah Pressley responded to Brown Avenue about 7:45 p.m. on March 22 after receiving reports of a woman screaming for help. When they arrived, Feldman and an acquaintance were standing in a hallway, the smell of smoke coming from a burned rubber doormat.
A short distance away, the 67-year-old victim was behind a fire door with a panicked look on her face. Marlar wrote the victim had a large gash on her forehead with blood on her clothing and arms. She was visibly upset and implored the officer to keep Feldman away from her.
The victim, according to Marlar’s report, said she heard a noise at her door and went to check it out. There she saw a small piece of paper under her door.
“(The victim) said that is when she could smell the smoke. (The victim) said she opened the door and ‘the neighbor down the hall attacked me with a plier.’ (The victim) said that she noticed her prescription eyeglasses broke when Joanne struck her. As Joanne continued to attack her she also tried to bite her in the arm,” Marlar wrote in his report, adding that Feldman chased the victim until she fled into her apartment.
As officers separated Feldman and the victim, she pulled out a set of channel lock pliers and tried to hit the woman again. Leary and Marlar stopped her swing and rushed her away from the victim, according to Marlar’s report.
Leary, in his report, wrote that Feldman was “suffering from an altered mental status.”
“She kept stating that ‘they are trying to poison me,'” Leary wrote in his report.
As Leary spoke to Feldman, Marlar brought the victim back to her apartment and noticed the burned doormat and a lighter later identified as belonging to Feldman. By this time, Sgt. Lauren Tirone and Detective Sgt. David Noyes arrived to assist.
As Leary and Pressley were trying to arrest Feldman, she was able to run into her bedroom and swallow an unknown number of oxycodone pills. That prompted an Amesbury ambulance crew to transport her to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport for treatment. Amesbury firefighters had been on scene earlier putting out the doormat fire, according to court records.