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Hammer-Wielding Truck Driver Arrested At Market Basket Protest

TEWKSBURY (CBS) – Tensions are rising in the Market Basket battle. On Friday afternoon, a truck driver was arrested for approaching Market Basket protesters with a hammer.

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The driver was trying to drive past demonstrators outside of the Market Basket headquarters in Tewksbury.

WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod reports that the driver got out of the truck with something at his side wrapped in a towel. There was an exchange of words between the driver and the demonstrators. When police officers realized that the object in his hand was a hammer they quickly tackled him to the ground.

Ira Forbes arrested for disorderly conduct at Market Basket headquarters. (Tewksbury PD)

Ira Forbes arrested for disorderly conduct at Market Basket headquarters. (Tewksbury PD)

Demonstrators say the man never swung the hammer, but he was verbally aggressive towards them.

Market Basket workers and customers have been protesting for weeks in an effort to get ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas to return to his position.

Truck being driven by Ira Forbes. (WBZ-TV)

Truck being driven by Ira Forbes. (WBZ-TV)

The company’s current CEOs told employees to return work on Friday or they would be fired. Hundreds of employees ignored that order and continued to protest.

The truck driver has been identified as 27-year-old Ira Forbes of Brooklyn, New York. He was working for Market Basket on a temporary basis.

“We are thankful that local police intervened and that no one was injured,”a spokesperson for Market Basket said. “Market Basket of course condemns the driver’s actions. Both the driver and the company for which he worked have been terminated, effective immediately.”

Forbes has been charged with disorderly conduct and assault with a dangerous weapon.

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