News, Police/Fire

Former police officer charged with harassment asks judge to dismiss case

PEABODY — A former Everett police officer who has been charged with harassing a Lynnfield woman has asked a judge to dismiss the case.

At a pre-trial hearing Monday, Stephen Berardino, a Lynnfield resident, was granted a hearing on the request from District Court Judge James Barretto.

The case on whether to dismiss the charge will be heard Thursday, March 14. Berardino was forced to resign last year as a result of the allegations.

Elyse Hershon, a Boston criminal defense attorney, will argue for dismissal, while an Essex County District Attorney will ask that the defendant face trial.

Last fall, Berardino was arraigned in Peabody District Court and charged with one count of criminal harassment. He has maintained his innocence.

The charge stems from a complaint by Paula Parziale of Locksley Road. She alleged that over a 10-month period and while he was a police officer, Berardino yelled obscenities and tossed trash on her lawn, and accelerated his vehicle loudly in front of her three-bedroom ranch style home.

Parziale secured a restraining order the officer, alleging he attempted to drive head-on into her vehicle, and tossed explosive devices on her lawn, according to court documents.

It’s unclear why Parziale was targeted.

Everett Police Chief Steven Mazzie said prosecution of Berardino is in Lynnfield’s hands. When his department learned of the allegations, a review was ordered, and Berardino resigned, he said. He was hired in the summer of 2017 and was on probation at the time of the incident, the chief added.

Lynnfield Police Chief David J. Breen could not immediately be reached for comment.

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