By Beth David, Editor
In last week’s issue, Fairhaven resident Diane Hahn sent a letter to the editor accusing Board of Health chairperson Peter DeTerra of closing the front door of town hall to keep her out of the building, while her arm was in the doorway. She said that he also threatened to call the police.
Ms. Hahn said in her letter that she “lodged a complaint” with the police the next day.
Mr. DeTerra left a voicemail on a Neighb News phone number cautioning the editor to be careful what was printed, but offering no details. The message was not retrieved until after the paper had gone to print.
Ms. Hahn did, however, provide some police records to the paper. In the main narrative, Officer Wayne Mello recounts Ms. Hahn’s version of events and concludes that, after viewing surveillance video, that “no assault took place and simply a ‘tug of war’ with the door.”
Ms. Hahn told the Neighb News that she begs to differ. She said a “tug of war” implies that it takes “two to tango,” and she wants to see the video for herself.
In another report, Officer Christopher Bettencourt writes that he spoke with Mr. DeTerra and got his version of events. In it, he states that he tried to close the door while Ms. Hahn tried to open it. Mr. DeTerra “held the door firm at 3/4 shut,” wrote Officer Bettencourt.
Ms. Hahn contends that the door was “firm” at 3/4 shut because parts of her body were blocking it from closing.
She said she will attempt to get the surveillance video that the police used to make their judgement to see if there is a problem with the angle, or clarity, or some other reason the video does not match her recollection.
Mostly, though, she has two main issues she wants to get across. One, that she never intended to make a criminal complain against Mr. DeTerra. Ms. Hahn said she simply wanted the incident documented.
She also said Mr. DeTerra has twice impugned her reputation by insinuating that she was intoxicated, first when a similar incident happened in November, and again this month.
“He’s trying to ruin my reputation by insinuating two times that I was drunk,” said Ms. Hahn. “Because that’s the only away a strong woman gives her opinion.”
Mr. DeTerra did not respond to attempts to contact him for comment on this story.
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Click here to download the entire 4/29/21 issue: 04-29-21 Swans