Skakel files complaint in parking lot altercation
By Eve Sullivan - Greenwich Time

DARIEN - Accused murderer Michael Skakel claims he was the victim in a recent dispute outside a coffee shop in town.

Skakel, who is charged with the 1975 murder of 15-year-old Greenwich resident Martha Moxley, says he was pushed by a Darien resident outside Starbucks on the Post Road on a recent Saturday morning.

The 40-year-old is reportedly staying with one of his brothers in Darien.

Skakel walked into the Darien Police Department at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 27 to file a complaint, according to police. He told police that he pulled into Starbucks' crowded parking lot at 10:15 a.m. as another man was leaving a spot.

Capt. Fred Komm said Skakel alleged that the man, later identified as John Harvey, was "visibly upset" because his car was blocked.

"Skakel said he backed out of the way to let the other guy out, so he can pull into the space," Komm said.

According to Skakel, Harvey mouthed obscenities at him, so he mouthed one back before pulling into the parking space.

Skakel claims Harvey then approached him, pushed him in the chest and the two exchanged words. Skakel told Harvey he planned to call the police, then took down his plate number as he drove off.

Komm said police contacted Harvey, who gave a different story.

Harvey said he was backing out of the space when Skakel pulled behind him. Harvey claims Skakel was upset and swearing at him because he had to back up, Komm said.

Harvey admitted getting out of his car, but said he only poked Skakel in the chest and told him not to swear in front of his wife.

"(Skakel's) identity factor has no involvement here," Komm said. "(Harvey) didn't recognize him."

Komm said neither man wished to pursue charges, and the investigation is closed. Harvey, 46, of Contentment Road, did not return a phone call last night.

Employees at Starbucks would not comment. Regular customers say they haven't noticed Skakel inside.

"We're here a couple of times a week, but I haven't seen him," said Dick Wharton of Darien. "I'd probably have to look hard to recognize him."

Ron Noir said he stops by the coffee shop daily and has never seen Skakel. He also said he probably would not recognize him.

"If he was going to stay anywhere, he should stay in Norwalk," Noir said. "He could be inconspicuous there. This isn't the town for him to be staying. Everyone knows everyone."

Noir said the notoriety reminds him of the days of Alex Kelly, a onetime fugitive now serving a 16-year sentence for raping a fellow Darien High School student in 1986.

While Kelly was awaiting trial in the highly publicized case, he was charged by police in connection with an incident at a bar, then with leaving the scene of a car accident in Darien. Kelly allegedly caused the accident, then left his injured girlfriend bleeding in the road.

Skakel, too, is awaiting trial. Last week, a judge decided to hear the case in adult court, although Skakel was only 15 when Moxley was bludgeoned with a golf club outside her Belle Haven home.

Skakel's address on the police report was listed as Windham, N.Y., where he lived with his wife and child before the couple filed for divorce in November. Friends of Skakel say he has since been living with his brother in Darien.

According to land records, Skakel's sister, Julie, purchased a home on Birch Road in Darien in 1999. No one answered the door there yesterday.

Residents on the quiet street didn't know anything about Skakel.

"I think (Michael Skakel's) sister lives there," a woman leaving a neighboring house said. "That's what I've heard."

"I don't believe he's living there," a neighbor said of Michael Skakel. "I've just never even seen him on the street."

Waiters, bartenders and clerks at businesses along the Post Road were surprised to hear about Skakel.

"I wouldn't know him if I fell over him," a restaurant worker said. "I mean I know who he is and the notoriety. I did read where he was in Starbucks. I didn't know he had a Darien connection, only Greenwich."



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