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Man Arrested After Allegedly Threatening Boston City Councilor

A man accused of threatening Boston City Councilor-at-Large Michael Flaherty has been arrested.

Police confirmed Monday that 53-year-old John Donovan of South Boston had been arrested following threats against community members, including an elected official and his staff. Flaherty confirmed he was the subject of the threats.

Flaherty told NBC10 Boston that Donovan began threatening him Saturday, allegedly going to homes displaying the councilor's campaign signs. A supporter called Flaherty to tell him someone was threatening to kill him.

The threats escalated Saturday afternoon and Sunday, Flaherty said.

"Let me say that if it hadn't been for the Boston Police Department today, it could have gotten a lot worse," Flaherty said.

Police said they tried to stop Donovan when he was driving Monday, but he fled from officers. They later caught up with him after he was spotted leaving a campaign office on East Broadway and allegedly making additional threats.

Donovan allegedly hit responding officers' cruisers with his car repeatedly. He was taken into custody after a lengthy struggle, police said.

Flaherty said Donovan is known to his family.

"It started years ago with threats toward my dad, threats toward my aunt and some of my cousins," he said. "It's gotten to the point where it escalated until today."

Donovan faces two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, as well as charges of assault and battery on a police officer, making threats, driving to endanger, willful and malicious destruction of property and leaving the scene of a crash causing property damage.

It was not immediately clear if Donovan had an attorney.

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