Barrington Man Found Guilty of Simple Assault and Disorderly Conduct Against Neighbor


Sentencing hearing on hate crime enhancement scheduled for February 9, 2021


PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a Barrington man was found guilty in 6th Division District Court on misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct charges, stemming from a fight with his next-door neighbor in Barrington on August 3, 2020.


At today’s hearing before District Court Judge Stephen M. Isherwood, the court found Richard Gordon, age 71, guilty of one count each of simple assault and disorderly conduct.


The State filed a sentencing enhancement in this case, pursuant to Rhode Island’s Hate Crimes Sentencing Act, on August 11, 2020. In Rhode Island, there is no free-standing hate crime; rather, a defendant must first be convicted of a criminal offense.  


If a defendant is convicted of a criminal offense, there is a separate sentencing hearing at which the State must prove that the criminal offense was motivated by “the actor's hatred or animus toward the actual or perceived disability, religion, color, race, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation, or gender of that person.”  If the court determines beyond a reasonable doubt that the criminal offense was so motivated, the penalty for the criminal offense can be increased pursuant to the Rhode Island Hate Crimes Sentencing Act.


A sentencing enhancement hearing has been scheduled for February 9, 2021 in 6th Division District Court.


At trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that on August 3, 2020, Gordon assaulted his next-door neighbor once the neighbor replaced a surveyor’s stake in Gordon’s front yard.  


On that day, Gordon exited his house to confront his neighbor. The victim was standing in the street, which divides the two properties. During the argument, Gordon yelled racial slurs at his neighbor. He then escalated the encounter into a physical assault with his neighbor, Bahram Pahlavi.


A portion of the incident was captured on cell phone video and was widely circulated on social media platforms following the incident.


Lieutenant Josh Birrell of the Barrington Police Department led the investigation into the case. Assistant Attorney General John Moreira and Special Assistant Attorney General Keith Hoffmann prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.



The Biden administration is ready to get the new Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine out immediately after it gets final approval from the FDA. That could happen very soon after the administration's staff endorsed the candidate for emergency use. White House COVID coordinator Jeff Zients [[ ZYNtz ]] believes three-to-four million new doses will be easily accessible.       The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says they found no signs of impairment when they got to the scene of the Tiger Woods car accident Tuesday morning. Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters because of that, they did not attempt to draw blood when the legendary golfer was taken to the hospital. Tiger injured both of his legs in the crash south of Los Angeles.       A large number of corporate executives are lobbying for the proposed sweeping COVID-19 relief package. More than 150 business leaders, including those from Goldman Sachs, Google and IBM, sent a letter backing the measure to congressional leaders. However, House Republican leaders are blasting the bill, as Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters the Democratic legislation is "too costly, too corrupt and too liberal."       Charges in New Jersey against Bruce Springsteen are being dismissed. The music icon was charged with DWI and reckless driving following an incident at Gateway National Park in Sandy Hook in November and appeared in court today via video. At the hearing, they reported that his blood alcohol level was below the legal limit, but Springsteen pleaded guilty to drinking in a park and will be required to pay a 540-dollar fine.        Facebook says it will dole out at least a billion dollars to help struggling news outlets over the next three years. The social media giant has been feuding with Australian officials who want the company to pay news publishers for the content shared on their platform. Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg says Facebook has invested 600-million dollars since 2018 to help the news industry, and they want to continue partnering with news publishers.       Taylor Swift is joining Dolly Parton as the only performers to top the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with two versions of the same song. The original version of "Love Story" hit number one in 2008 and the re-recorded version "Love Story (Taylor's Version)" just made its debut on the list in the number one slot. Parton's tune "I Will Always Love You" is the only other song to accomplish the feat after hitting number one in 1974 and again in 1982 with an updated recording.