fb-pixel Skip to main content

Science experiment takes an unexpected turn

kwanchaift - stock.adobe.com

Every day, police officers respond to reports of all sorts of events and nonevents, most of which never make the news. Here is a sampling of lesser-known — but no less noteworthy — incidents from police log books (a.k.a. blotters) in our suburbs.


At 8:30 a.m. Oct. 16, firefighters from West Newbury and Groveland responded to Pentucket Regional High School after a routine science experiment didn’t perform exactly as expected, officials said in a statement. The two fire departments were dispatched to the high school at 24 Main St. in West Newbury after a water vapor cloud caused by the experiment was sucked out the window of one classroom and into a nearby one. The building was evacuated and firefighters worked with a hazmat team member from the Amesbury Fire Department and determined there was no danger because the cloud consisted only of water vapor. Fire crews cleared the area by 9:44 a.m. and Atlantic Ambulance personnel evaluated students and staff in the two classrooms as a precautionary measure. Officials said the botched experiment involved sodium and water and is a standard part of the school’s science curriculum.



At 9:10 p.m. Oct. 9, Stow police received a call from someone who saw two suspicious-looking men outside the Stow House of Pizza on Great Road. According to the log entry, the caller described the men as wearing “Michael Myers Halloween masks, reading cat magazines and staring at people in the area." Police responded to the location and checked the surrounding area but were unable to find anyone who fit that description.


At 1:48 a.m. Sept. 28, Bridgewater police received a call from a woman who said she could hear strange noises outside her house. Police later tweeted that she was “not aware it was raining.”



At 10:03 p.m. Sept. 13, Wilmington police found a mannequin in the parking lot of the Fourth of July building on Middlesex Avenue. (For those who don’t know, the small clapboard building was originally used as a schoolhouse and town library, and since the 1980s has been the headquarters for the town’s Fourth of July committee). Police notified the town’s Department of Public Works so it could dispose of the mannequin.


At 2:30 p.m. Sept. 30, Wellesley police were dispatched to Highland Road by Sprague Field for a report of a stolen golf cart. While Officer Mike Mankavech was en route to the scene, the caller informed the emergency communications center that the golf cart had been located and it had struck a vehicle. Police said the golf cart was found just down the street resting against a parked car. Mankavech spoke with an employee from the Department of Public Works, who explained that he’d left the golf cart on the walkway next to the tennis courts on Sprague Field. The employee had left the keys in the golf cart, and someone took off in it while he was clearing leaves from the tennis courts. “There was no damage to the golf cart or the car,” said Lieutenant Marie Cleary. “We have not identified a suspect yet, but believe it was likely a teen.”


At 1:32 p.m. Sept. 26, Bridgewater police received a 911 call from a woman who said she believed she saw a small plane go down in the fields behind Summerdale Farms Way. It turned out it was indeed a plane that she saw, but not a full-size one. Police later tweeted that people were flying model airplanes, and no further action was required.


Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.