EASTHAM –– It started with a police officer attempting to serve a no-trespass order on Saturday, Nov. 27. That turned into a physical confrontation, with the officer getting punched in the mouth. It ended with the controlled detonation of seized explosives at the Eastham DPW.
Dorian Firth, 41, of Marstons Mills was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, assault and battery on a police officer, possession of explosives, and possession of an incendiary device.
Around 12:45 p.m., Officer Gregory Plante approached Firth at the Town Center Plaza bus stop to serve him a no-trespass order that would bar him from entering the Village at Nauset Green. Firth is not a tenant there, but according to resident Candace Olson he had begun staying with others there in August, which violates the complex’s leases. She said he lingered after management asked him to leave.
Plante’s encounter with Firth was charged from the start, according to the police report. When the officer asked Firth to confirm his identity for the purpose of serving papers, Firth responded with a curse and told Plante that his name was “John.” Plante told Firth that he was not free to go until he produced identification proving he was not Dorian Firth. A CCRTA bus pulled up, and when Firth attempted to board, Plante stepped between him and the door, explaining again that he had documents to serve. Firth took the papers from Plante and ripped them up.
Face to face with Firth, Plante placed his hand on Firth’s chest, according to the police report, and Firth punched him in the mouth with a closed fist. At that point, Plante handcuffed him with the help of a citizen volunteer, Matthew Kibby. Sgt. Mark Haley arrived shortly after and pepper-sprayed Firth, who was still resisting, according to Haley’s police report.
At the police station, Firth told Plante he believed the Barnstable and Yarmouth police were “out to get him,” according to the police report. Firth added that he thought the Eastham police were out to get him as well.
According to a Barnstable police report from earlier this year, Firth has a Section 12, which allows the state to transport him to a hospital against his will for a psychiatric evaluation. Doctors and certain other authorities can apply for a Section 12 if they believe a person may “create a likelihood of serious harm by reason of mental illness,” according to state law.
While searching Firth’s belongings, Plante discovered a locked Cape Cod Five money bag. Inside were fuse wires, nearly a pound of dark powder in a plastic bottle, metal shavings, a metal disk, and other materials that prompted Plante to consult with the fire dept., which led to a call to the State Police Bomb Squad.
Trooper Scott Irish of the bomb squad and FBI Special Agent Geoffrey Raby decided to conduct a controlled detonation. The items were brought to the DPW sand pit, where the bomb squad detonated the explosives. Eastham Police Chief Adam Bohannon was at the site; the detonation “shook the whole area,” he said by email. The sound of the blast carried over a mile.
Firth, who has a long criminal record, currently faces a separate set of explosives charges in an ongoing case in Barnstable from earlier this year. In that case, too, Firth was arrested and the bomb squad removed a device to detonate it in a safe location. Firth pleaded not guilty to the charges, and, according to the Barnstable police report, said he was making fireworks from components purchased on Amazon.
That case has moved through Barnstable District Court slowly. Firth’s probable cause hearing was originally scheduled for May 3 but has been rescheduled six times and has not yet taken place. While his case stagnated, Firth posted $1,000 bail on June 15 and was released from the Barnstable County Correctional Facility. On July 21, he violated the terms of his pretrial probation, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was released again on Aug. 19 after the Commonwealth’s motion to revoke Firth’s bail was denied.
In a separate 2018 incident, Firth ended up in protective custody after entering the lobby of Cape Cod Hospital and demanding medication. When asked to leave, he threatened to “bring physical harm to everyone” there, according to the police report.
Firth was held at the Eastham Police Dept. over the weekend and arraigned Monday at Orleans District Court. His bail was set at $5,000. His probable cause hearing is scheduled for Jan. 7.