Suspect in Nantucket Police Standoff Arraigned on Two Charges

The man involved in the standoff with island law enforcement officers Monday on Polpis Road was arraigned in Nantucket District Court Tuesday morning on charges of violating a restraining order and resisting arrest.

Jeffrey Frable, 64, had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf. He is being held in custody overnight after the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s office was granted a motion for a dangerousness hearing that is scheduled for today at 11 a.m.

During Tuesday’s arraignment, Frable attempted to address Judge Thomas Barrett, but was cut short after defense attorney Robert Moriarty and Judge Barrett urged him to remain silent. Moriarty, however, vigorously objected to Frable being held and the District Attorney’s motion for a hearing to determine whether Frable represents a danger to the community. He also called out the police response that led to the standoff on Monday. 

“The request (for the dangerousness hearing)  is as overwrought as the police response was yesterday to what was a simple service of a restraining order,” Moriarty said. “It’s not called for. There’s not one scintilla of evidence, and there’s no way they can establish that he is a danger as defined (under state law).”

Yesterday’s arraignment followed a dramatic afternoon on Polpis Road Monday when officers surrounded Frable’s home in SWAT gear, with long guns drawn for several hours. The standoff ended around 6 p.m. when Frable exited the home and was subdued by a Barnstable Police Department K9 unit that had been brought to the island by ferry. 

Frable, police said, was armed with two folding knives during the standoff, and officers were informed by his priest prior to the standoff that he had firearms on the property. Two handguns were later confiscated after being found in a shed on the property, Nantucket Police Department Detective Derek Witherell reported in a statement to the court. 

Police reports filed with Nantucket District Court yesterday provided several new details on the events that led up to the standoff. 

Judge Thomas Barrett issued an abuse prevention order, otherwise known as a restraining order, against Frable around 11:59 a.m. on Monday. The order had been requested by Frable’s wife, and it prohibited Frable from being in the home on Polpis Road. Detective Witherell wrote in his statement to the court that he called Frable and told him to come to the station so he could be served with the paperwork. Frable told Witherell he was  “not leaving his home to pick up paperwork” and hung up on the detective. After several more calls went to voicemail, Witherell drove out to Frable’s home on Polpis Road with other officers in an attempt to serve him with the paperwork. The windows of the home were open as they yelled and used a loudspeaker to order Frable out of the home. When he refused, Witherell requested and was granted a warrant for Frable’s arrest from the District Court. 

When officers and State Troopers returned to the Polpis Road property to arrest Frable, the situation escalated into a standoff. Officers used a loudspeaker to once again order Frable out of the home, but he refused. Witherell called Frable again, and this time he answered, according to the statement. Witherell told Frable that the restraining order required him to leave the home, and asked him to come out with his hands above his head. 

“Frable came out the front door at around 5:45 p.m.,” according to Witherell’s statement. “I moved towards Frable and was yelling for him to come to me and show us his hands and get onto the ground. Several officers were telling Frable to show his hands and to get onto the ground and he refused. Frable was on the phone and was not responding to officers. I could see a knife pouch on his waist band. Frable was given several commands to come towards officers and get onto the ground. Frable refused orders and went about getting another item from his residence. Frable at one point, before going into the residence, looked back at officers, refused commands and entered the residence. Officer Nolan O’Melia from the Barnstable Police Department who was on scene, released his K9. Once Frable was on the ground, as the K9 was actively biting/latched onto Frable, myself and Sgt. Rockett placed handcuffs on Frable.”

Witherell stated officers discovered two folding knives on his person, and another folding knife in the bag that he was going back into the residence for.

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