Source – A Manchester-By-The-Sea man was arrested over the weekend after a woman told police a person dressed as a pirate broke into her house while she was sleeping.
It happened just before 9 p.m. on Sunday on Raymond Street.
The woman said she was watching television in bed and fell asleep, then woke up to a man standing over her. The woman told police the man, who was holding a dog, said with a British accent “Where are my tongs?”
Police say the man left after the woman screamed. Hearing the woman yelling, neighbors came to help and were able to get the suspect’s license plate.
A short time later, police stopped 79-year-old Herbert Gleason. In a report on the incident, an officer noted that Gleason was wearing a black bandanna on his head, a black shirt, and a brown leather belt with a gold chain and pendants. He was not wearing shoes. …
According to the Gloucester Times, Gleason’s attorney said the incident is a “huge misunderstanding.” The attorney said Gleason was walking his dog on the beach and poked his head inside a screen door believing his “tong” sandals might be in the woman’s house.
Ah, Manchester-by-the-Sea. To most people it’s just the town they associate with that Casey Affleck movie that made everyone want to drown themselves in an existential cocktail of vodka, pain killers and despair. But it’s so, so much more. It’s a quaint, idyllic little seaside drinking village with a fishing problem. Filled with ice cream emporiums, souvenir shops, bookstores seafood shacks and pubs. And populated by colorful locals in pirate garb slipping into women’s bedrooms at 9 p.m. asking for their tongs with affected British accents.
There are just so, so many questions. The mind reels at all the questions. First of all, do we buy the lawyer’s story? That Captain Jack Sparrow here was looking for his sandals? Because that brings up more questions than it answers. Why did he think they were in this lady’s house? If he only stuck his head in her screen door how did he manage to be standing over her bed? Why the British accent? And who the hell calls his sandals “tongs”? Sorry, counselor. But that alibi doesn’t exactly meet the reasonable doubt standard in this juror’s mind.
But still, he’s entitled to the benefit of the doubt, I guess. Innocent until proven guilty, and all that. I’m sure there are plenty of perfectly harmless reasons a guy would appear standing over a sleeping woman’s bed in pirate garb holding a dog and asking for his tongs that have nothing at all to do with kinky role play. So spare me your “Herbert the Pervert” wisecracks. Because there but for the grace of God go I. Let ye who hasn’t been accidentally mistaken for a pirate by a lady you woke up out of sound sleep by asking her for your BBQ utensil in a British accent cast the first stone.
I’ll give Herbert Gleason this, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a 79-year-old who had to do less to look like an authentic British pirate.