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Boston man, 38, charged with allegedly trying to throw wife into Fort Point Channel

A Boston man was charged Thursday for allegedly picking his wife up out of her wheelchair and trying to throw her into the Fort Point Channel, according to officials from the Suffolk district attorney’s office.

Just before 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Boston police responded to a 911 call about an assault in progress near the intersection of Summer and Melcher streets, next to the channel, James Borghesani, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden, said in a statement.

A witness told police he saw a man, later identified as Jonathan Pinney, 38, attempting to throw a woman over the railing and into the water below, Borghesani said. The woman, Pinney’s wife, confirmed the account to police and was taken to Tufts Medical Center for treatment.


Soon after, officers stopped Pinney near the intersection of Summer and High streets and arrested him, according to Borghesani. Pinney told officers that he “believed his wife was an ‘imposter’ and was attempting to ‘dump her’ into the channel,” Borghesani said.

On Thursday, Pinney — who has a “history of crimes in Illinois, California, and Arkansas” — was charged with assault and battery on a family or household member and assault and battery on a disabled person, Borghesani said. He was sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for a 20-day clinical evaluation and is expected to return to court on April 4.

“Considering the air and water temperatures Wednesday, along with the victim’s disability, we would likely be looking at a far more tragic scenario had this man been successful in his stated intent,” Hayden said in a statement.

SafeLink, a statewide domestic violence hotline, can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 877-785-2020, Borghesani said. Members of the LGBTQ community who are experiencing domestic or intimate partner violence can call The Network/La Red at 617-742-4911 or 870-832-1901.


Bailey Allen can be reached at bailey.allen@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @baileyaallen.