The lawyer for a Boston police officer accused of pulling a gun on his neighbors said the cop has an alcohol problem and needs treatment.
Officer Sandro Fonseca, 30, of Roxbury, pleaded not guilty in Roxbury District Court on Thursday to charges of assault by means of a dangerous weapon. The Boston Police Department placed Fonseca on paid leave. A judge ordered him held on $5,000 bail.
Attorney Ken Anderson requested that Fonseca, who served in the Marines for six years including a tour in Iraq, be released on his own recognizance and hoped to get his client into a treatment center by the end of the week. Anderson said that he could still smell alcohol on Fonseca when he interviewed him Thursday morning. He also said Fonseca denies the allegations.
Fonseca allegedly pointed a gun at a man and a woman on Wednesday night near Forest Street, authorities said. The gun, a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson with a sight laser, was not his service weapon and he was off duty at the time of the incident, authorities said.
Mikia Steed, the victim and Fonseca's neighbor, was in court on Thursday with her fiancé. Steed said her fiancétold her Fonseca was with two other men when he pointed a gun a him. She said Fonseca's friends told the couple he was a little drunk and was a police officer. She called 911 and that's when Fonseca allegedly came to their house, pointed the gun at her and swore at her. She said she then ran away and police arrived.
Police surrounded the apartment where Fonseca lived with his girlfriend and child and he eventually opened the door while holding his police radio. Police searched him and the gun fell from his waistband, authorities said. That's when police arrested him.
Steed said she's fearful and wants to move.
"I'm afraid to be at the house," she said. "I'm nervous. He's my neighbor."
Anderson said Fonseca was recently recognized for saving his partner's life during a shootout with a suspect in July. Fonseca and his partner were investigating drug activity in South Boston when they chased an alleged dealer. The dealer turned from a corner with a gun and fired as the officers. Fonseca then shot the suspect in the chest, Anderson said. The suspect survived.
Anderson said Fonseca's partner and family members were in court. They did not want to speak to reporters.
Fonseca is due back in court in February.
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.