MEDFORD — A Medford police officer is on administrative leave after he was recorded threatening a driver during a traffic stop Sunday night.
“I’ll put a hole right through your head,” Detective Stephen Lebert is heard telling the driver, who recorded the heated encounter on his dashboard camera.
In the video uploaded to YouTube titled “Medford Detective threatens to kill civilian,” the driver explains that he made a wrong turn on an unfamiliar rotary at Winthrop and High streets.
The video shows Lebert, who was off-duty at the time, wearing shorts and an undershirt. He’s seen pulling in front of the driver in an unmarked vehicle, saying “now you’re done” and ordering him to roll down his window.
The driver, a software designer named Mike from Malden, then backs up before seeing Lebert pull out his police badge. He tells Lebert that he didn’t realize he was a cop.
“I’ll blow a hole right through your [expletive] head,” Lebert says as the driver pulls over. “You’re lucky I’m a cop because I’d be beating the [expletive] out of you right now.”
“I thought that guy was going to kill me,” the driver says.
Medford Police Chief Leo Saco told WBZ-TV that Lebert was placed on leave when he arrived to work Monday morning. Saco said he couldn’t explain the Sunday night incident, but said Lebert is a 30-year veteran of the department and a good officer.
Saco also acknowledged that the rotary can be tricky to navigate.
This is not the first time Officer Lebert got in trouble for a confrontation with a civilian that was captured on camera. He had to undergo counseling for an encounter during an arrest in 2012.
During that incident, he was being recorded by the brother of a man who was being arrested. Lebert poked the camera and said, “what you should do with your brother is take him up on the railroad tracks and tell him to lay down.”
Another person has come forward to WBZ, claiming she had a run in with Lebert when he accused her of parking too close to his cruiser outside of a bank.
“After I went out to the parking lot he started screaming at me, called me an ignoramus, just was out of control over just a situation where he couldn’t get into his cruiser because he wasn’t parked properly,” said Marjorie McMillan.
McMillan says she spoke with the chief and mayor about the incident but nothing happened.