WRENTHAM — A State Police trooper has been suspended after a couple accused him of inappropriately touching himself and punching one of them in the face at a Luke Bryan concert at Gillette Stadium in June.
Andrew Patterson, 32, was charged Thursday with lewd and lascivious conduct. State Police officials will hold a hearing Friday to discuss his employment status and will conduct an internal investigation, spokesman Dave Procopio said.
“The State Police expect and demand that members abide by departmental rules of conduct in their professional and personal lives,” Procopio said in a statement. “The off-duty conduct as alleged utterly contradicts the manner in which the department demands its members conduct themselves in their personal lives.”
Patterson’s attorney, Daniel Moynihan, said his client is “unequivocally denying” the allegations.
“This is very, very unfortunate,” he said. “His state of mind is not good, I don’t think anybody’s state of mind would be good.”
Patterson’s arrest was first reported by the Boston Herald.
Patterson was at the country music concert with his wife and another trooper, according to a criminal complaint. The New Bedford couple — a 40-year-old man and 36-year-old woman — who reported Patterson told police he appeared to be “extremely intoxicated” from the first moments they saw him. Patterson ate their popcorn, they said, although he stopped when they asked him to, and his friend offered to buy them more.
They declined his offer, and the woman soon noticed that Patterson was exposing himself, court records show. Patterson’s wife said something to him and made him move a few rows back, according to the complaint.
The New Bedford couple tried to report the incident to security through the stadium’s app but could not get a good enough connection, they told police. The man eventually managed to post on his Facebook page that someone next to them had “pulled out his [eggplant emoji].”
“He’s moved on to being a Joe Biden to the young girls in here,” the New Bedford man wrote, referencing allegations against the Democratic presidential candidate of inappropriate touching. “Honestly he’s lucky I haven’t smashed a chair on this frat boy.”
Later in the night, Patterson was suddenly back near them, records show. He started dancing behind the woman, holding his phone in his hand, the couple told police. The man said he thought Patterson was taking photos or a video of himself grinding near the woman, so he knocked the phone out of his hand. Patterson then punched him in the face, he said.
The man said he threw a chair at Patterson but wasn’t sure if it hit anyone. The second trooper then showed his State Police badge and said that the man was “in big trouble now,” court records show.
Moynihan said the couple threw a chair at Patterson’s group, and that a scuffle ensued.
“The suggestion that he would have done what’s alleged is preposterous, with his wife standing next to him,” Moynihan said. “I don’t think many wives would stay with you if you did such a thing in public, as alleged.”
Patterson served in the Army from 2009 to 2013, according to Department of Defense records. Moynihan said he was deployed to Afghanistan and earned a Bronze Star for his service. He returned and joined the State Police. In 2015, he shot and killed 44-year-old Santos Laboy, who approached him with a knife on a footbridge over Storrow Drive. Investigators determined that Patterson was backing away as Laboy approached him and that he had acted in self-defense.
“Trooper Patterson took him down and saved lives,” Moynihan said Thursday.
This is the latest in a series of misconduct allegations and criminal complaints levied against State Police troopers. Forty-six troopers have been accused of collecting overtime pay for hours they never worked. Eight have pleaded guilty to charges of embezzlement, and two others face charges.