Sunday, April 27, 2008

Suspended Officer George Sideris Arrested on Warrant

Police Officer George Sideris, 36, was taken into custody Friday on a warrant issued by Salem Superior Court after he failed to appear at a scheduled court hearing Thursday.

Peabody police and Probation officers went to his residence around 2:30pm, and found Sideris barricading the entrance door and refused to allow the officers inside his residence.

The officers were able to push in the front door and once inside the apartment found Sideris in the bathroom with a self inflicted wound. Peabody Police Lt. Dennis Bonaiuto would not comment on how Sideris hurt himself, or how long the incident lasted, only to say it was not prolonged.

Sideris was taken to the Salem Hospital where he is recovering from a self-inflicted injury. Bonaiuto said Sideris was expected to spend the night at the hospital. He said he was not sure if additional charges will be filed. He said Sideris will remain in custody until his arraignment in Salem Superior Court.

Sideris was originally charged with beating his then 73-year old elderly mother, Melpomeni Sideris, into a coma on Thanksgiving Day in 2004 at their Ellsworth Road home in Peabody that they shared.

Mrs. Sideris, 76, was in a coma for several weeks following the incident and eventually emerged, but never returned home.

She is currently living in a nursing home in Lynn and Sideris is allowed supervised visits with his mother.

Sideris has been suspended without pay from the Police Department as a result of the charges.

He was due in court Wednesday on a hearing on results of an evaluation by doctors at Bridgewater State Hospital, who said Sideris is not competent to stand trial, and an evaluation done by a doctor hired by prosecutors, the results of which are not yet known to the public.

Sideris, who is on his third lawyer, had been adamant at prior hearings that he was competent to stand trial, but this week he failed to appear in court, a surprise to Judge David Lowy, who noted Sideris, who was free on personal recognizance, had shown up at every court date so far.

Lowy delayed issuing the arrest warrant over concerns of a scheduling mix-up. But when he did not show up Thursday and probation officers failed to find him, a prosecutor asked the judge to issue a warrant.