WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) — A truck driver who fatally struck a Massachusetts police officer and a utility employee, pulled a knife on another officer, stole his cruiser and crashed has an “unbroken chain” of crimes going back to 1996, a prosecutor said at a detention hearing Thursday.
A judge ordered that Peter Simon, 54, of Woodsville, New Hampshire, continue to be held without bail as he awaits trial on charges stemming from the Dec. 6 crashes in Waltham that killed Waltham police Officer Paul Tracey, 58, and a 36-year-old National Grid worker identified as Roderick Jackson, of Cambridge.
Simon's next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 29. His lawyer, Lynda Dantas, said some of the charges on his record were dismissed and mentioned there are “significant mental health issues here,” without specifying them.
Simon has a “complete mental health network” in New Hampshire and an apartment, said Dantas, who asked for home confinement, including an electronic monitoring device. She asked that he be allowed to leave for medical treatment only.
Simon has a record of driving away from New Hampshire authorities, prosecutors said.
In 2009, he led police on a chase through multiple parking lots in Keene and drove at about 100 mph into a passenger bus, which “created an explosion of debris” and caused the truck to catch fire. He fled the truck and was arrested in a restaurant.
In 2016, police responding to a call about an assault at a Franklin home pursued a van that Simon drove into a fence, authorities said.
Simon is now accused of multiple charges, including two counts of manslaughter, armed robbery, assault and leaving the scene of an accident. He appeared in court Thursday to be arraigned on several additional charges, including negligent operation of a motor vehicle and failing to stop for a police officer. Not guilty pleas have been entered on his behalf for all charges.
In New Hampshire, Simon has served time in both the state corrections department secure psychiatric unit and in the state prison on charges including reckless conduct and assault.