Hanover caterer found innocent in April shotgun incident

Andrew Lightman

A Hanover caterer was cleared of criminal charges Monday when a judge found him innocent of firing a shotgun during a burglary at his business.

David Crest, the owner of Family Crest Catering, was charged by police in April after he pulled a shotgun on a former cook, who allegedly broke into the commercial kitchen to steal thousands of dollars worth of food.

Crest said he had been hiding in an office that night to catch the person responsible for four previous thefts.

Crest said he understands why he was charged in the incident, in which he fired four shots into the ground, but was happy to prevail in court.

“It was a necessary thing,” Crest said, “but I’m glad I’m not guilty.”

The alleged burglar, John O’Connor, 43, of Weymouth, is still facing criminal charges, and he declined to testify at the bench trial Monday.

“They had no so-called victim,” said Crest’s lawyer, Michael Bergeron. “But they still went with what evidence they had.”

Crest, a Marshfield resident, had been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building.

Bergeron said the innocent verdict will allow his client to testify against O’Connor without fear he will be charged again in the incident.

“I’m looking forward to testifying,” Crest said.

While the incident hasn’t hurt his business, Crest said it has prompted him to invest in tighter security and has caused him to be more careful when hiring employees.

“I’m glad it’s behind me,” Crest said. “It’s just one of those things you wish didn’t happen.”

Andrew Lightman may be reached