DRACUT -- A Dracut man who is under a court order to stay away from his former girlfriend was arrested Wednesday afternoon in the laundry room of his girlfriend's apartment building, where responding officers found him holding a framed picture in one hand, and razor blade in the other, police said.

Emanuel Matta, 25, whose current address is unknown, was charged with violating a restraining order and resisting arrest, according to Deputy Police Chief David Chartrand.

Matta suffered "superficial cuts" on his hand related to holding the razor blade, which was wrestled away from him in a struggle with up to six Dracut police officers. One officer suffered a scratch during the handcuffing process, but not from the razor blade, the deputy chief said.

On Wednesday at 3:46 p.m., Dracut police received a call from a female resident of 98 Pemberton Estates Condominiums, a private two-building complex located at the end of Ashton Avenue, stating that she had spotted her estranged boyfriend's vehicle in the parking lot.

"She recognized the vehicle, and she had previously obtained a restraining order against him, so we responded," Chartrand said. "When the responding officers got there he wasn't at her apartment, but his vehicle was still in the parking lot, and we believed he was still inside the building,"

The officers conducted a search of the building, and located Matta in the bottom floor, near the laundry room, the deputy chief reported.


"At that time, he was holding a framed picture in one hand and something else in his other hand that the officers couldn't quite discern what it was," Chartrand said. "They asked him to release the items he had in his hands, and he wouldn't comply with any of their verbal commands. So he was physically taken into custody."

When Matta was prone on the floor, one of the arresting officers could see it was a razor blade he was holding, Chartrand said.

"During the encounter, he made statements that he intended to harm himself, so he was taken to Lowell General Hospital and remained there under observation, and in custody, until the morning."

Matta was scheduled to be arraigned in Lowell District Court on Thursday, after which he was expected to be ordered to undergo further evaluation, Chartrand said.

Asked what was shown in the picture frame that Matta was holding, Chartrand said Thursday that was unclear.

According to a neighbor of the adjoining apartment building at 100 Pemberton Estates, it was the second time police had been called to remove Matta from his ex-girlfriend's apartment building. In the previous instance occurring several months ago, the responding officers and firefighters spent much time in "talking (Matta) down" from a second-floor balcony of the building, the neighbor said.

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