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Medford mayor promises ‘decisive action’ after taped stop

Medford Mayor Michael J. McGlynn says he is “shocked’’ by the actions of a Medford police detective who was captured on camera last weekend, allegedly saying that he could “put a hole” in the head of a motorist.

In a statement issued Tuesday, McGlynn said he supports Medford Police Chief Leo Sacco’s decision to place Detective Stephen LeBert on administrative leave pending an internal affairs investigation.

“The words and behavior of the officer as shown on that video go far beyond the acceptable standards of behavior of a police officer,’’ McGlynn said in the statement. “I was fully shocked and saddened by the detective’s statements and his demeanor directed towards the driver.’’


LeBert was off duty at the time of the episode.

The motorist posted a recorded portion of the episode on YouTube shortly afterward, and it quickly drew attention around the Boston area.

The driver claimed he made a wrong turn about 10:15 p.m. Sunday in the rotary connecting Routes 38 and 60, then corrected his mistake without endangering any other vehicles, but suddenly found himself being pursued by a pickup truck.

The video shows the pickup truck pulling up on the right side of the driver’s car as they both reach High Street.

The driver says something that is unclear while LeBert says, “Now you’re done!’’ LeBert puts his truck into park, opens the door, and steps out.

LeBert wore a T-shirt and shorts. There were no police markings on his pickup truck, a personal vehicle.

LeBert reaches into his rear pockets and a side pocket as he walks toward the car, according to the video. The driver backs away, leaving LeBert in the middle of the street, holding what the chief said appeared to be his wallet badge in his left hand.

LeBert’s right hand is down by his side.


“I’ll put a hole right through your [expletive] head,’’ LeBert says in the video. “Pull your car over. I’ll put a hole right in your [expletive] head. I’ll put a hole right through your head.’’

The driver tells LeBert that he did not know he was a police officer, then he pulled over.

“Not only a cop, but a [expletive] Medford detective,’’ LeBert says. “You went through that [expletive] rotary.’’

“I’m sorry. I didn’t see a sign,’’ the driver says. “This is my first time.”

LeBert tells the motorist that he almost hit two vehicles head-on — “one of them being me’’ — while he was going the wrong way in the rotary.

In his statement, McGlynn said that as the mayor of Medford for 28 years, he believes “the vast majority of Medford police officers carry out their duties professionally and with courtesy to the public.’’

Previously, LeBert has been admonished by superiors after he was videotaped in 2012 episode blocking the camera of a man recording as Medford police officers interacted with his brother.

In that video, LeBert also tells the man that his brother should lie down in front of a train to end his substance abuse problems.

McGlynn said in the statement he expects the Police Department to conduct a “fair and complete” investigation with “all deliberate speed.’’

He promised “appropriate and decisive action’’ once Sacco submits his recommendations on how the department should respond to LeBert’s actions.

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.