Man who allegedly harassed Stonington forum moderator arrested again

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Stonington — The North Stonington man accused of harassing the moderator of the Stonington Community Forum Facebook page earlier this year and fighting with highway department employees in 2016 was arrested here again last week.

Police said they took Morgan S. Dean, 39, of 72 Stillman Road into custody on the afternoon of Aug. 15 after Westerly police informed police here that he was in the area of Mechanic Street in Pawcatuck and that there was a extraditable warrant for his arrest out of Hopkinton, R.I. The warrant charges Dean with simple assault and larceny from a person in connection with an Aug. 11 incident.

Police said they confirmed that Hopkinton held the warrant and they went to an address on Buckingham Street in Pawcatuck that they knew Dean to frequent and located his car there.

Police said that they knocked on the door, Dean answered it and he was taken into custody without incident. They described Dean as cooperative throughout the process.

Court records show he was released on a $100,000 bond and he is scheduled to appear in New London Superior Court on Sept. 13.

Stonington police charged Dean in January with second-degree harassment, a Class C misdemeanor offense that could land him in prison for 90 days and a fine of $500 if convicted.

The police allege Dean used sexually graphic and racist language to harass forum moderator Stephen Bessette and his family, including sending Bessette’s wife a message asking if he could swing by her house. The message was accompanied by a photo of Bessette’s address and phone number, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

This spring Dean told a New London Superior Court judge that he will be representing himself at his trial.

In 2016, Dean and a Stonington highway department employee were arrested after an altercation that ensued when Dean, who is a landscaper, drove his tractor over a freshly paved section of road. The highway employee then confronted him and they fought, police said. The state’s attorney did not prosecute the charges against either man after both decided not to proceed with the case.

Dean also has a pending case stemming from an October 2018 arrest in North Stonington, in which he was charged with two counts of second-degree breach of peace and one count of third-degree criminal mischief. He has requested a jury trial as well in that case, according to Judicial Branch records.

j.wojtas@theday.com 

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