Former Wareham Police officer gets probation for alleged assault on elder

Aug 9, 2022

Ryan Turner, a former Wareham Police officer, has been ordered to take anger management classes following an alleged 2019 assault on an older man on Martha’s Vineyard.

The incident took place in Sharky’s Cantina on Sept. 5, 2019. Per police reports, the facts are somewhat fuzzy as all the parties said they were drinking.

What is clear is that the victim was uninvolved in the conflict that preceded the alleged assault.

According to police reports, the victim’s friend joked that a young girl in Turner’s family looked like Elton John, due to her large glasses. 

The altercation then took place as the Turner family was leaving the restaurant — some time after the victim’s friend made the Elton John comment. 

According to police reports, the child’s mother approached the group of men who made the comment, and the victim’s friend allegedly made a lewd comment directed at the mother.

Ryan Turner then reportedly dumped a beer on the victim before punching him at least once. It’s unclear why Turner attacked the man, as he had not said anything to Turner’s family members.

Then, Seth Turner — Ryan’s brother — pushed the victim’s friend who made the offensive comments, who fell to the ground.

The victim went to the hospital to be evaluated after the incident, as he had recently undergone brain surgery to treat an aneurysm and was taking blood thinners. 

The men at the bar took photos of the cars the Turner party drove away in.

Following the incident, Edgartown Police contacted Ryan Turner. 

According to reports, Turner was “polite and cooperative” and said that he would come to the police station as soon as he could get a ride, as he had been drinking and wasn’t comfortable driving.

Several hours later, after he reportedly failed to appear at the station or answer calls from police, officers went to where he was staying. 

There, they were informed that he had left the island via boat. 

In court on Aug. 3, 2022, Turner admitted sufficient facts — meaning that the prosecutors had sufficient facts to prosecute the case, but he wasn’t admitting guilt.According to the Martha’s Vineyard Times, the case will continue without a finding for one year. That means that if he successfully abides by the terms of his probation and does not commit any other offenses, the case could be dismissed next year. 

Additionally, the former officer will be required to take anger management classes.

Wareham Human Resources Director Dorene Allen-England said Turner was placed on an unpaid leave of absence in January 2020, and as of last week, was no longer an employee of the Wareham Police Department.