Police Say Peabody Man Was High During Break-in, Assault at Couple's Home

Police say a 48-year-old Peabody man was under the influence of some "high-test weed" when he broke into a Lowell couple's home and attacked the husband.

A Peabody man is facing charges of assault (multiple counts), burglary and wanton destruction of property among other charges for allegedly walking into a home in Lowell and attacking a resident.

Police say Dennis Riel, 48, of Peabody, was under the influence of "high-test weed" when he entered the home on Aug. 9 around 4:15 p.m., damaged the bathroom and punched a 62-year-old disabled man until the man's wife intervened, the Lowell Sun reports.

The Sun reports that police arrived at the scene to find Riel, shirtless, being held down on the floor by the wife. They said he did not know the couple and appeared to be under the influence of drugs at the time.

According to police, the couple was watching TV when Riel suddenly came inside through the unlocked front door and said he needed to use their bathroom. He then went in the bathroom, shut the door and proceeded to tear things off the walls, just as he had ransacked the interior of the man's car, it turned out.

Police said Riel then approached the husband, who had dialed 911, demanding to know where someone was hiding, and ended up punching the man, who had recently undergone surgery.

The Sun reports that Riel later told police he didn't remember what happened inside the couple's home and that he had smoked some "high-test weed."

Riel is being charged with assault, burglary, two counts of assault and battery on a person over 60 and disabled, malicious damage to a motor vehicle, breaking and entering into a motor vehicle, resisting arrest and wanton destruction of property.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges in Lowell District Court and is being held on $5,000 cash bail. He is due back in court Sept. 10 for a probable cause hearing.


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