Man Dressed as Pirate Scares Woman After Breaking Into Her Mass. Home, Police Say

He was allegedly dressed as a pirate and kept asking the woman, "Where are my tongs?"

A man dressed as a pirate and looking for "tongs" broke into a home in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, and woke up the owner Sunday night, terrifying her, police said.

Herbert Gleason, 79, of Gloucester, was arrested on charges of breaking and entering with the intent to commit a felony and putting a person in fear.

He pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Tuesday and was released on $1,000 personal surety bond, according to The Gloucester Times.

The homeowner told police she had been in her bed watching television and fell asleep when she awoke to an unknown man standing over her bed, according to the officers' report.

He was allegedly dressed as a pirate and kept asking the woman in an English accent, "Where are my tongs?"

The victim said she screamed at the man to leave. Neighbors, who heard the victim in her home on Raymond Street, came to her assistance and were able to get the suspect's license plate as he left, police said.

"It didn't sound like he was a dangerous person or there was a thing where there was gonna be an assault or something," said the woman's landlord, Jeff Zager. "I just think he came in and opened up the door and she was startled."

One neighbor told police it appeared that the suspect was intoxicated or impaired and confirmed that he was dressed like a pirate.

A short time later, a Gloucester police officer was able to stop the vehicle and question the man driving. When Manchester police arrived, they detained Gleason.

Police said he was wearing a black bandanna on his head, a black button-up shirt, black pants, a brown leather belt with a gold chain and pendants intertwined in it. He was also not wearing shoes.

After the homeowner identified him, Gleason was arrested.

His attorney told The Gloucester Times that the incident is a misunderstanding. He said Gleason had been walking his dog on the nearby beach and was looking for his sandals which he pronounces "tongs."

The attorney told the paper he "poked his head inside" the woman's house, thinking the sandals were there.

"I don't think it was a real dangerous scenario but I think it was a little bizarre," said Zager.

NBC10 Boston has reached out to Gleason's attorney for comment.

Gleason is due back in court Aug. 27 for a pre-trial hearing.

Contact Us