CHELSEA -- A Revere fire captain was arraigned Monday on charges that he hit three Chelsea boys with a golf club in a bizarre Halloween night altercation, at one point attempting to strangle one the youths, authorities said.
At a hearing at Chelsea District Court, prosecutors said Carl Holmberg, 44, hit an 11-year-old boy and the boy’s two 14-year-old friends in a melee that broke out Friday at 7:45 p.m. on Vane Street. When police arrived, they found Holmberg using a golf club to restrain one of the teenagers.
The three victims told officers Holmberg yelled at them for cutting through yards. They said they ran away, but that Holmberg confronted them a second time.
One 14-year-old said Holmberg attacked him and threw him to the ground. The 11-year-old said he was struck in the back of the head. The third boy said Holmberg hit him in the arm and leg.
When police spoke with Holmberg, they said they detected the smell of alcohol and saw that his eyes were glassy.
Holmberg told police he was trick-or-treating with his wife and two children when he saw the three boys causing a disturbance. When he confronted them, they became aggressive and he became afraid for his safety, he said. He told police he didn’t strike anyone with the golf club, which he carried for protection.
His lawyer, Neil Rossman, said Holmberg “acted in self-defense.” Rossman said the boys came upon Holmberg while he was trick-or-treating with his young son, and “acted to protect them.”
“He feared for his safety,” Rossman said.
Holmberg has been suspended with pay pending a disciplinary hearing.
After a hearing in Chelsea District Court, Holmberg was released on his own recognizance with orders to stay away from the victims and their families. He is due back in court November 20.
Peter Schworm can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globepete.