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Haverhill Officer Facing Suspension After Beekeeper’s Death

By Paul Burton, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Paul Burton (Photo: WBZ-TV) Paul Burton
Paul Burton is a general assignment reporter for WBZ-TV News. Burto...
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HAVERHILL (CBS) — Ina Schwartz says her son Alan loved to farm, which is why he spent most of his time at the Silsby Farm in Haverhill working on crops and his honeybees.

“I never expected this. It’s terrible terrible,” Schwartz said.

In June, the 57-year-old died after being stung by those honey bees while he was alone on the farm.

“I found him slumped over onto a beehive with his bees in his carrying case and his smoker in the other hand,” Silsby farmer Marlene Stasinos said. “It was terrible terrible terrible.”

Ina says she became worried when her son did not come home from work one late night back in June, so she called police.

Now the officer who received her 911 call, Officer Rick Welch, is being disciplined for not dispatching a patrol officer to the farm.

“The chief says he should’ve handled it differently in that he should’ve dispatched it over the radio rather than an email from the station to a car,” Defense Attorney Douglass Louison said.

Officer Welch is now facing a 6 months unpaid suspension by the city.

Today, he released a statement saying, “I am truly sympathetic to those who suffered the unexpected loss of their family member in this incident. However I find it reprehensible that the Mayor and Chief would exploit such a tragedy just to pressure a union official and cause such duress to me, my family and my coworkers,” Officer Welch wrote.

Ina says she just misses her son.

“I miss his presence. Enjoy every moment you have with your child. You never know. I never would’ve expected this. Never,” Ina said.

An Administrative Attorney will now determine Officer Welch’s punishment.

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