Mar 1, 2018

A Bourne selectman has been ordered held without bail in the Barnstable County Correctional Facility after he allegedly attacked his longtime girlfriend, bashing her head against the floor of the home they shared and threatening her with a baseball bat.

A Falmouth District Court judge decided Wednesday, February 28, that Michael A. Blanton, 49, of Shore Road in Monument Beach would remain in custody until Monday, March 5, when a dangerousness hearing is scheduled. The hearing will determine the extent to which Mr. Blanton is a danger to himself or others.

Mr. Blanton was arrested Tuesday after his girlfriend came forward to report the alleged attack. He was charged with assault on a family/household member; assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a baseball bat; threatening to commit a crime, murder; and intimidation of a witness.

His arraignment was Wednesday in the Falmouth courthouse and it was presided over by Judge Christopher Welch.

A police report filed by Bourne Patrolman Thomas J. Spillane detailed the alleged assault. In it, Ptl. Spillane stated that he responded to a domestic assault and battery call at 3:17 PM on Tuesday, February 27. The victim said she had recently been assaulted by Mr. Blanton, whom she has been dating for more than three years.

The woman told Ptl. Spillane that she and Mr. Blanton have been living together at his home on Shore Road in Monument Beach. The two knew each other when they attended Bourne High School together. They had recently reconnected and started a relationship, she said.

She said the assault occurred between the hours of 10 PM Sunday, February 25, and 1 AM Monday, February 26, at their residence when the two argued over his alleged affair with another woman. The woman told police that she had learned of the affair several months earlier, and the other woman had admitted to it.

After confronting Mr. Blanton about it, the alleged victim said she moved out for several days. The two had reconciled, and things were better between them until a friend said he had seen Mr. Blanton at Tomatoes restaurant in Sandwich, dining with the other woman.

Suspicions that the affair had begun again were ignited, she told Ptl. Spillane. She said that during an earlier argument that turned physical, Mr. Blanton tried to kill her by strangling her. She said that she did not report that incident because she did not want to cause trouble for Mr. Blanton.

“She stated that she loved him,” Ptl. Spillane wrote in his report.

Another argument about the alleged affair led to the assault this week, the woman said. She said that Mr. Blanton forced her to the ground on her knees. He then grabbed her by the arms and yanked them back behind her, describing it as a martial arts move.

He then allegedly pushed her to the ground on her back, grabbed her head and hair and bashed her head on the floor quickly and repeatedly, according to court documents.

The woman said she was dizzy at this point but remembered Mr. Blanton saying, “I should f****** kill you…if you tell anyone or tell the police, I’ll kill you!” She said he then stood over her with a baseball bat and held it with both hands, as if ready to swing at her.

The woman said she warned Mr. Blanton, “If you kill me, people will know it was you.” She then asked him to drive her to the hospital, given her injuries.

She said that he replied, “F*** you c***,” and walked out of the room. She managed to crawl upstairs to her bedroom, where she vomited before getting into bed, she said. While in bed, she sent several text messages to a friend, saying she feared for her life.

Court records showed that, in one text, she wrote, “I am scared for my life, if I die tonight or end up missing, Michael did it.”

The next morning, she said, her father picked her up and drove her to Tobey Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a moderate to severe concussion.

After the hospital visit, the woman’s father drove her back to Mr. Blanton’s home to retrieve clothing and personal items, Ptl. Spillane stated. Mr. Blanton was there at the time, and when the father confronted him and said he had given his daughter a concussion, “Blanton said nothing, shrugged his shoulders, and walked into the other room,” according to court records.

The woman waited until Tuesday to report the incident. Ptl. Spillane was the investigating officer and he said that during his interview with the victim, he saw a large bruise to her left upper inner arm, superficial scratches to the top of her right forearm, and moderate swelling with severe bruising to both of her knees.

Later that day, at 5:20 PM, police—including Police Chief Dennis R. Woodside—went to the Shore Road home the couple had shared and arrested Mr. Blanton. Chief Woodside was the officer who placed him in handcuffs.

Mr. Blanton was booked at the Bourne Police Station and ordered to be held without bail. He spent the night at the Barnstable County Correctional Facility prior to arraignment on Wednesday.

Court records showed that Mr. Blanton texted the alleged victim and attempted to apologize for the assault. He texted that he was “embarrassed and saddened by the way I’ve acted, and no matter what you’ve said or done, I can’t make any excuses.” He included in his text an apology to her father.

She responded that she never thought Mr. Blanton could have hurt her like he did.

“I loved you more than any woman will ever love you and you have broken my heart,” she said.

A check of his record showed that Mr. Blanton has no criminal history in Massachusetts other than a few traffic citations, including driving without a license.

Mr. Blanton has engaged Falmouth attorney J. Drew Segadelli as his defense counsel. Reached on Thursday, March 1, Mr. Segadelli said that he has spoken with Mr. Blanton about the incident. However, the attorney declined to share his client’s side of the story.

“I will thoroughly investigate the authenticity and veracity of the allegations,” Mr. Segadelli said. “He’s a selectman with impeccable credentials.”

Mr. Blanton grew up in Bourne, attending the public school system and going on to earn a master’s degree in public management at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

A realtor by vocation and the self-employed owner of Shining Sea Properties, LLC, he is divorced with one child, a son who is a senior at Bourne High School.

Mr. Blanton is nearing the end of his first term on the Bourne Bourne of Selectman. He was elected to the board in May 2015 and has announced his intention to run for reelection. His campaign website noted that in 2014, he was hired as tribal court administrator for the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) on Martha’s Vineyard. He is also the outreach coordinator for the Bourne Democratic Town Committee.

Pocasset resident Amy M. Sharpe is serving as Mr. Blanton’s campaign manager. Ms. Sharpe attended Wednesday’s arraignment but declined to comment on the arrest. Subsequent calls to Ms. Sharpe’s residence were not returned before deadline.

Prior to being elected a selectman, Mr. Blanton served for eight years as the town’s representative to the Cape Cod Commission. He served for five years on the Bourne Housing Authority and has also been a member of the Cape Cod Selectmen and Councilors Association, the Buzzards Bay Vitalization Association and the Monument Beach Civic Associates.

A major proponent of economic development in the downtown business district and growth incentive zone, Mr. Blanton has also been a strong advocate for the Friends of the Bourne Rail Trail.