WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) ─ The Warwick landlord arrested after his tenants claimed he attacked them argues that the couple is using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse not to pay their rent.
Frank Marr, 65, was arrested Wednesday on charges of simple assault and disorderly conduct in connection with the incident, which was captured on video.
“He aggressively came into the house, was banging on my door, breaking all of the dishes, slamming everything,” Larry Adekeye previously told Eyewitness News. “He attacked me, threw all the glassware at me, and was just really aggressive — spitting in my face, telling me he was going to kill me, that he was going to slit my throat.”
The Adekeyes told Eyewitness News they were recently laid off and awaiting unemployment benefits, which remain frozen due to an ongoing federal government investigation into unemployment fraud.
In the video, Marr can be heard shouting belligerently about evicting them, even though Gov. Gina Raimondo recently signed an executive order temporarily barring evictions because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Marr defended his actions, telling Eyewitness News cameras didn’t capture what happened before Larry started filming.
“He pushed me and I fell down,” Marr said, adding that he dislocated his shoulder. “I’m not a bad guy, I take on bad guys. When I take on bad guys, I do what I got to do. You’re bad, get going. I’ll throw you out.”
Roger Tucker, another one of Marr’s tenants, said he witnessed the entire altercation.
“Larry opened the door and Frank went to step in, but he never passed the threshold and Larry pushed him and Frank went down,” Tucker said.
Marr said he plans to press charges against Larry. As of Thursday, no counter-charges have been filed, according to the Warwick Police Department.
While the Adekeyes say the’re still awaiting unemployment benefits, Marr isn’t convinced.
“These people have thousands of dollars and aren’t paying me my rent,” Marr said.
Marr is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 3.