A Massachusetts State Police trooper who prosecutors say shot at the driver of an all-terrain vehicle with a semi-automatic rifle during a confrontation on a busy Boston highway early last year has pleaded not guilty to assault charges.
Trooper Matthew Sheehan was released on personal recognizance after entering his plea Thursday.
The Suffolk district attorney's office said Sheehan shot and injured 28-year-old Aderito Monteiro during a confrontation with 25 ATV and dirt bike riders on Interstate 93 south on Feb. 24, 2018.
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Sheehan was one of 13 officers present but the only one to open fire. Prosecutors say he grabbed a semi-automatic service rifle out of his cruiser despite having a handgun on his hip.
A total of eight riders were arrested during the incident. Seven of those riders were prosecuted and had their cases resolved, prosecutors said Sept. 18.
Sheehan, also under investigation for what authorities call racially-tinged social media posts, remains suspended without pay during the investigation.
Last month, a spokesperson for Massachusetts State Police said in a statement that Sheehan would remain suspended without pay after he was formally indicted on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with the highway incident.
Department leader Col. Kerry Gilpin has said her staff "expect and demand that all MSP members uphold the highest standards of integrity, on- and off-duty, an expectation that is shared and embraced by the vast majority of men and women who serve as state troopers," police spokesman Dave Procopio said in September.
A message was left with Sheehan's attorney.