A Massachusetts State Police trooper has been suspended after allegedly performing a lewd act on himself while he was off duty during a summer concert at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.
Andrew Patterson, 32, of Lynn, attended a hearing at Wrentham District Court Thursday on charges of lewd, wanton and lascivious conduct. The charges were filed after a criminal complaint stemming from the alleged June 21 incident.
Police working a concert by country singer Luke Bryan at Gillette Stadium were called to a section of the arena for a fight. When they arrived, a man told police he had been punched by Patterson, according to the police complaint.
The man and his girlfriend, who had been sitting next to Patterson, said he and his friend had been acting inappropriately throughout the night and, at one point, Patterson sat in one of their seats, according to the complaint. When asked to move, Patterson allegedly motioned for one of the victims to sit in his lap.
The couple told police that Patterson then unzipped his pants, removed his penis and began to masturbate. It was then that Patterson's friend left the area and the fight occurred between Patterson and the male victim, the complaint said.
While talking to Patterson about the incident, police said he appeared "extremely intoxicated and his speech was thick and slurred."
Patterson has been suspended while state police conduct an internal investigation, according to police spokesperson Dave Procopio.
"In light of today's charges, the Department will hold an internal hearing tomorrow to re-assess his duty status, and the internal investigation will continue as the criminal case proceeds. The off-duty conduct as alleged utterly contradicts the manner in which the Department demands its members conduct themselves in their personal lives," read a statement from state police.
Patterson's attorney, Daniel Moynihan, said his client denies the allegation and calls the charge "ridiculous." He said Patterson is a decorated Veteran who served in Afghanistan and was with his wife in a "sea of people" and that things "can be misconstrued."
The trooper was involved in the fatal shooting of a knife-wielding man in Boston on June 19, 2015. Following a two-year investigation, he was cleared of wrong-doing and the Suffolk County District Attorney's office determined that Patterson acted in self defense.
Patterson is scheduled to be arraigned in Wrentham District Court on Nov. 8.