BARNSTABLE — When 16-year-old Edward M. Kennedy III returned from the gym Tuesday and found a man sitting on a couch inside his family’s Hyannis Port home, he told police that he figured the visitor was one of the many family friends who stop by during the summer.
He said the man claimed to know his father, Edward M. Kennedy Jr., “seemed normal and interesting,” and even washed the dishes after the pair shared some tortellini, according to a police report. The teenager is the grandson of the late US senator, Edward M. Kennedy.
It turns out the visitor was not a family friend, but rather a stranger who told officers he had stopped by the former home of John F. Kennedy to see the slain president and the pop star Katy Perry, a prosecutor said Wednesday in Barnstable District Court.
James M. LaCroix, a father of two from Mashpee, was charged with breaking and entering and ordered to go to the Pocasset Mental Health Center for an evaluation after appearing before Judge James O'Neill. A not guilty plea was entered on LaCroix's behalf, but O’Neill postponed arraignment until Aug. 13.
O’Neill ordered LaCroix to stay away from the Kennedy home on Irving Avenue.
“He’s going to go to a competent medical facility where it’s up to him to cooperate with the evaluators there,” O’Neill said.
Police went to the Kennedy compound at 9:37 p.m. Tuesday after receiving a call from Kennedy Jr., who said he had called his Hyannis Port home from Connecticut and spoke with a man who identified himself as James LaCroix, according to a police report written by Officer John L. Campbell and filed in court.
When officers arrived at the home, they found the 53-year-old LaCroix sitting on a couch reading a book, Campbell wrote.
LaCroix told officers about his intention to see Perry and JFK and said he entered the home through an unlocked door.
“He began to ramble about his political views and his love for Katy Perry. It did appear to police officers at that time that he was having some kind of issues psychologically,” said a Cape and Islands assistant district attorney, Michael Giardino.
A short time later, Kennedy III came home and told officers he had encountered LaCroix about three hours earlier, Campbell wrote. He told police that after spending time with LaCroix, he left the house to visit friends. While he was out, he said, his father telephoned him and said LaCroix was not supposed to be in the home. Kennedy Jr. told his son to stay away from the house until the teen’s mother could get there from Boston, Campbell wrote.
Dona Maynard, a forensic psychologist who interviewed LaCroix, said in court that he “has some bizarre ideas that lead me to believe that he may be having delusions” and that he claimed to be taking medication for psychosis.
“I do see symptoms of psychosis, and I’m recommending hospitalization,” Maynard said.
She said LaCroix, who according to divorce records served in the Coast Guard, was hospitalized in November for a mental health issue. LaCroix said he was diagnosed with a “psychotic disorder not otherwise specified,” Maynard said.
Defense attorney Penelope Psomos said LaCroix does not want to undergo additional treatment. He appeared in court wearing a T-shirt featuring the Captain America emblem and appeared to understand the court proceedings.Evan Allen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Laura Crimaldi can be reached at email@example.com.