Groveland woman speaks out after police say she was followed by man

GROVELAND, MASS. (WHDH) - Groveland police have issued a criminal summons against a man accused of following a woman in his vehicle earlier this week, officials said.

The 65-year-old Groveland man, whose name will not be released, will be charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, Groveland Police Chief Jeffrey T. Gillen said in a statement on Thursday.

“It’s super nice to know the police department worked very quickly and just trying to their best so it has a really good outcome,” 21-year-old Julia Santos said.

The charges stem from an incident on Monday involving Santos, who told police she was followed after responding to an ad on a Groveland community Facebook page where a resident was giving away excess dog food.

Santos drove to the house, located about a mile from her own home, and picked up the free dog food.

As she turned to head back home, she told police the 65-year-old man turned around multiple times in an obvious effort to follow her.

“I started to get really, really scared,” she said. “Especially when I pulled over, and he pulled over right behind me, almost bumper to bumper. I’m like ok something’s going to go down.”

That is when she said she took out her phone and began to record the interaction.

A neighbor can be heard on the recording coming to Santos’s defense.

“I don’t like the fact that this poor girl is being harassed,” the neighbor said.

An investigation determined the man disturbed neighbors during the incident, and another motorist reported having to drive off the roadway to avoid him while he was allegedly engaged in a verbal altercation with the woman he followed.

Police subsequently identified the man, interviewed him and he will be summonsed to Haverhill District Court at a later date for a Clerk Magistrate’s hearing.

“I just hope that he knows he can’t do this and get away with it. That’s all I really hope, that he gets held accountable for it,” Santos said.

Now, a landscaping truck is parked in front of the man’s home, blocking the entrance that is surrounded by “No trespassing” signs.

But, across the street, a message of “No racism” sits on a lawn. Just some of the overwhelming support Santos said she has received over the last few days.

“It’s so heartwarming because even in this small town there are people I don’t know, but they are still swarming to come to support me, I’ve even made a couple new friends just because of how much they’ve had my back over this,” she said.

This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest details.

 

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