Couple charged in alleged assault on Salisbury Beach lifeguard

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, of Lawrence was charged with two counts of witness intimidation, according to documents from Newburyport District Court. His girlfriend, Erin Mulcahy, 24, of North Andover was charged with assault and battery of a public employee, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest, the documents said.

Mulcahy and Duncan pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday in Newburyport District Court.


Police received reports of unruly beach patrons at 2:55 p.m. 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.

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

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 Mulcahy’s eyes were red and she smelled alcohol on her breath.


After some trouble, Powell placed Mulcahy under arrest, causing hundreds of beachgoers to erupt in applause, according to the trooper’s report.

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

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

Both Duncan and Mulcahy are are scheduled to return to court on Aug. 26 for pretrial hearings.

Jasper can be reached at or on Twitter @Jasper_Craven