UPDATED: Suspect Identified In Demoulas Hammer Attack
Ira Forbes of Brooklyn, NY.
An arrest has been made after a scuffle on the picket line at Demoulas Headquarters on East Street, Tewksbury on Friday.
But the incident has a bizarre twist.
A temporary driver, identified as Ira Forbes of Brooklyn, NY, stopped his rig near picketers as he entered the Demoulas parking lot. Then, according to witnesses, Forbes exited his rig with a hammer in his hand and charged at the protesters.
Tewksbury Police officers subdued the man and placed him under arrest. According to a Tewksbury Police report, he was booked on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and disturbing the peace.
According to WCVB-TV, Demoulas fired Forbes and the temporary agency he was hired through, following his arrest.
Striking workers and their supporters picketed the Demoulas Headquarters/Warehouse throughout the day, as they have for the past two weeks. About 200 drivers, warehouse workers and office employees walked off the job four weeks ago to protest the firing of CEO/President Arthur T. Demoulas.
Faced with a deadline of today or Monday (depending on the job) to return to work or be replaced, workers have remained defiant.
Throughout the day trucks driven by replacement drivers were coming and going from the warehouse, more frequently than at any time during the four-week-old labor dispute. Some workers are claiming the trailers have very little food on them. Those replacement drivers have been greeted by shouts of "scumbag" and "scab" from the striking employees.
It is not known, specifically, what sparked this afternoon's skirmish.
As negotiations continue toward a possible sale of the company to Arthur T. Demoulas, striking drivers, warehouse workers and HQ employees received notification this week that if they do not return to work the company will assume they have quit their jobs. In addition, CEO's Jim Gooch and Felicia Thornton have ordered store managers to accept food deliveries and fully stock the shelves, while taking down all protest related signs and symbols in the stores.
As of 6 p.m. Friday, the protest signs were still up at the Oakdale Mall Market Basket in Tewksbury.
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