Passenger in stolen pickup killed in crash; resident savagely beaten
A Hull man remains behind bars after police say his crime spree Thursday night left one person dead and another in the hospital.
At his arraignment in Hingham District Court Monday afternoon, Karl M. Sault, 40, was ordered held until a dangerousness hearing this Friday, Jan. 14.
Sault pleaded not guilty to a list of 18 charges, including kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to murder, breaking and entering, intimidation of a witness, assault and battery of a family/household member, and malicious destruction of property. Acting Hull Police Chief Neil Reilly said Sault may face additional charges after the State Police completes its part of the investigation.
Sault’s defense attorney, Stefan Rozembersky, of Boston, declined an interview request after the arraignment.
Sault’s trail of destruction stretched from Kenberma, where he is alleged to have stolen a pickup truck, to the Rockaway neighborhood, where the impact of hitting a pole killed his passenger, to the Estates apartment complex, where police say he broke into a home and savagely beat a woman before being tackled by police officers as he tried to leave.
The mayhem began last Thursday night, Jan. 6, prior to the start of the overnight snowstorm. At 10:10 p.m., a caller alerted Hull police that a man had stolen a brown Ford F-150 pickup from Nantasket Auto Sales and Repair, at 410 Nantasket Ave., and headed out of town.
According to a report filed by Hull Police Officer Kevin Olson, 10 minutes later Sgt. Edward Minelli saw two men in the stolen truck and tried to pull it over. After turning off of George Washington Boulevard onto Rockaway Avenue near the Nantascot Place condominiums, the driver apparently lost control and crashed into a utility pole. The passenger was thrown from the pickup; Minelli performed CPR until the fire department arrived. The man, identified by Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz as Michael Peters, 52, of Hull, died from his injuries.
Police say the driver, whose identity could not immediately be confirmed by the investigating officers, ran from the crash, heading deeper into the tight-knit Rockaway neighborhood. Hull officers called for assistance from Hingham, Cohasset, Norwell, Scituate, and State Police to search the area.
Within a half-hour, officers were called to the Estates apartment complex on Avalon Drive by three separate residents who reported seeing a woman being assaulted. One 911 caller reported that a man, whom they identified as Sault, became enraged after being denied admittance by a resident and climbed up to a second-floor balcony where he broke the window with his fists and kicked in the door. Witnesses said Sault chased a 38-year-old woman, with whom he had a previous relationship, into a bedroom and repeatedly punched and kicked her until she lost consciousness. Those witnesses said Sault threatened them when they tried to intervene, then threw the woman down a flight of stairs and dragged her out of the apartment by her feet.
When officers arrived, they reported being told by a neighbor that Sault had “knocked on my door like a maniac” and insisted on bringing the woman inside. When police found her there, she “appeared to have a significant amount of blood on her,” according to Olson’s report, and had multiple injuries on her face and arms. The Hull Fire Department brought her to South Shore Hospital.
Sault was arrested after he “emerged from the house and was tackled to the ground by Sergeant Ed Minelli and several other police officers from surrounding agencies,” Olson reported.
Minelli was not injured and was placed on paid leave following the incident, which “is a standard procedure on such a stressful call,” the acting chief said, noting that Minelli returned to work on Wednesday.
Because there was a fatality, the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section is investigating the truck accident and may pursue additional charges against Sault, Reilly said.
“This was a challenging call for myself and the officers investigating this matter,” Reilly said, adding that the police department held a peer support unit meeting Monday night for the officers involved. “I am deeply sorry for the Peters family and their loss.”
As they cleared several inches of snow from their driveways on Friday, residents of the typically quiet Rockaway area compared their experiences amid the chaos of the previous night, which was punctuated by police helicopters whirring overhead and investigating officers retracing Sault’s footsteps through the neighborhood’s narrow streets.
Reilly said the time required to compile key details of the investigation, such as confirming that Sault was involved in the theft and crash of the pickup truck, limited what Hull police could reveal to the neighbors in real time.
“I cannot do a reverse-911 under those circumstances,” Reilly said. “All I had was a driver that fled a vehicle. I would never cause a public panic. … I could only properly report on the domestic [