Dartmouth man sent to prison for assaulting, terrorizing neighbors

Sep 8, 2023

After a six-day jury trial in Fall River, 52-year-old Dartmouth man Frederick Preece was sentenced to state prison Sept. 6 after being convicted by a jury of his peers of assaulting and terrorizing his neighbors for a period of about 18 months in 2020 and 2021, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

The defendant was already serving a three to three-and-a-half year prison sentence after being convicted last June of violently assaulting his elderly father, and Judge Thomas Perrino sentenced Preece to serve an additional three-and-a-half to four years in state prison.  Upon his eventual release, he will also be placed on supervised probation for another three years.

The defendant was accused of issuing death threats to his neighbors and attempting to run elderly neighbors off the road with his motor vehicle. According to the District Attorney’s Office, Preece told his neighbors he had previously killed a man, could accurately shoot a small object from 1,600 yards away, was going to bring a “real monster” who had a number of confirmed kills to the laneway, was installing listening devices at their homes and was employing mercenaries to keep his neighbors off the road he falsely asserted was part of his parents’ property. 

At one point, he placed a large utility pole in front of one of the victims’ homes and installed a guard shack at the end of the lane, according to the District Attorney’s Office. 

In January 2021, the defendant began following his neighbors in various motor vehicles, and once screamed threats to kill a woman’s dog. 

In February 2021, Preece began intimidating other neighborhoods, including next door to his parents on Jordan Road, according to the District Attorney’s Office. The defendant was seen by one the victims on various dates and times in the month of February, ranging from the early morning hours to late at night, standing near the end of her driveway staring or screaming obscenities. 

On April 8, 2021, a male neighbor had another altercation with the defendant when the victim tried to take his motorcycle out onto Barney’s Joy Road. On that date the defendant again, ever present, was driving up and down the laneway. The defendant ultimately parked and waited for the victim to pull out of his driveway for more than 5 minutes. When the victim finally did pull out onto the lane the defendant drove a BMW SUV down the laneway at the victim at a high rate of speed, slammed on his brakes and stopped within inches of the victim’s motorcycle. The defendant then began screaming at him again.

Also in April, the defendant was seen attempting to block access to the laneway by putting up chains attached to old concrete pillars and dragging them across the road.

Then on, or about, April 10, 2021, Preece drove at a 72-year-old man on Jordan Road with his vehicle, forcing the man to jump out of the way. The same elderly man had a similar altercation with Preece two weeks later. 

First Assistant District Attorney Patrick Bomberg and Assistant District Attorney Charlie Schofield led the case for the District Attorney’s Office.