The Eagle-Tribue is reporting today that Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua and his aide Patrick Blanchette were nearly run down yesterday as they stood outside City Hall. Lantigua – who filed a report with the Police Department – noticed a car circling around as he and Blanchette talked about a possible project with a developer and a man he described as a “go-between” identified later in the article as well-known consultant Bob LaRochelle. He also noticed the men in the car were taking pictures. After the others left, Lantigua and Blanchette crossed Common Street for better look at the building under discussion – that’s when Lantigua says the car came at them. In the police report the Mayor described the incident as a “deliberate attempt to hit me and Patrick Blanchette.” LaRochelle later told the Eagle Tribune that the Mayor and Blanchette mentioned the car and seemed concerned but his back was to the street and he did not personally see either the car or the picture-taking. As the article notes:
Lantigua has been mayor through tumultuous times that included borrowing more than $27 million to pay off deficits and laying off police and firefighters. The mayor said he has received threats via email and notes on his car, and his windshield has been broken.
Police had assigned an officer to a City Hall area beat last year, but they moved the officer because the department needed the resources elsewhere, Romero said. Lantigua said he doesn’t want another officer assigned to City Hall.
“I will not accept an officer assigned to City Hall,” he said.
Lantigua said he’s being more conscious of his surroundings.
“Why would anyone want to hurt the good guy? I’m just doing the best job I could do,” Lantigua said.
Read the full J. J. Huggins article here at the Eagle Tribune.com. There is also a link to the police report.