Couple from Massachusetts charged after alleged assault on lifeguard at Salisbury Beach

A Massachusetts couple was charged Monday after an alleged assault on a 20-year-old Salisbury Beach lifeguard, with the male suspect allegedly ordering the lifeguard to cease blowing his whistle as it was exacerbating his hangover.

Shawn C. Duncan, 42, her boyfriend, was charged with two counts of witness intimidation, according to documents from Newburyport District Court. His girlfriend, Erin Mulcahy, 24, was charged with assault and battery of a public employee, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest, the documents said.

Mulcahy, of North Andover, and Duncan, of Lawrence, pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday in Newburyport District Court.

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Police received reports of unruly beach patrons at 2:55 p.m. on Sunday. As state trooper Allyson Powell was responding to the scene, a lifeguard requested a quicker response over the radio, stating the patrons were becoming more aggressive.

According to Salisbury police, the incident began when Duncan told the lifeguard to stop blowing his whistle because it was bothering his hangover.

At the beach, Mulcahy was then spotted causing a scene, with about 300 beachgoers gathered to witness the confrontation, according to State Police. Numerous beachgoers warned Powell that Mulcahy and Duncan were acting aggressive and had already punched the lifeguard. The lifeguard said Duncan dumped water over his head and punched him in the right side of the face.

Shortly after, Mulcahy allegedly punched the lifeguard in the chin, according to Powell’s report.

Powell reported that she smelled alcohol on Mulcahy’s breath and observed her eyes to be red. After some trouble, Powell placed Mulcahy under arrest, causing hundreds of beachgoers to erupt in applause, according to Powell’s report.

Duncan then approached Powell, insisting she let his girlfriend go. Powell advised Duncan to back away, and he cooperated. Duncan was advised to pack up his belongings and bring his young daughter home, who was crying profusely, court documents said.

Duncan was later arrested and charged with two counts of threatening the victim, after he spotted the lifeguard at the Salisbury police station. “Now I know who you are,” Duncan said to the victim, according to police Sergeant Eugene Scione'scq report.

The couple is expected to return to court on August 26 for pretrial hearings.