Home invader arrested after smashing into occupied Barrington homes

East Providence man allegedly breaks into six homes on Saturday night


The 911 calls started streaming into the Barrington Police Department at about 8 p.m. on Saturday night, March 4. 

Residents on Zephyr Lane and Fairfield Road in the north end of town told the police dispatcher a man had broken into their homes while they were there. They said his hands were covered in blood and he appeared to be completely disoriented.

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Officers raced to the quiet Barrington neighborhood and eventually located the suspect — 35-year-old East Providence resident Thomas James Gomersall — walking along the side of the road. Officers confronted him, tasered him after he refused to follow their orders, and later charged him with three counts of burglary, three counts of breaking and entering and one count of resisting arrest.

This was not the first time police had a run-in with Mr. Gomersall.

In fact, just a week earlier, police had been called to a Salisbury Road residence near Haines Park after Mr. Gomersall had tried to break into the home at 7:40 a.m. He reportedly tried to enter the home through the doggie door. 

At the time, the Salisbury Road residents did not want to press charges, but police further pursued the incident and issued a warrant for the East Providence man's arrest.

Barrington police actually charged Mr. Gomersall on the Salisbury Road incident on Friday, March 3, after East Providence police picked him up when he was spotted jumping fences and running through yards in that town. 

Barrington Police Chief John LaCross said he was very concerned about these incidents. 

"We believe he may have been on something," said the chief. "He was entering occupied homes. He was totally disoriented."

According to the police report, Mr. Gomersall entered three homes on Zephyr Lane and three more on Fairfield on Saturday night. Police said he entered one home where the husband and wife were having dinner. They confronted Mr. Gomersall and he then exited through a side door.

At another home, a young boy was shocked when Mr. Gomersall "just appeared" inside the house. He reportedly grabbed the boy's wrist, but then let go of him and then fled on foot.

Police said Mr. Gomersall broke windows at some homes, cutting both his hands in the process. Residents found their doors smeared with blood.

Mr. Gomersall allegedly told officers that he had been hearing voices inside his head. 

Chief LaCross said Mr. Gomersall is being held on the felony charges. 


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Honoré de Balzac

"Mr. Gomersall allegedly told officers that he had been hearing voices inside his head." And they said, "Bark bark woof woof arf arf"

Monday, March 6 | Report this

Why isn't this guy locked up!?!?! I can't believe you can attempt to break into a house and you're just set free to do it again. When is society going to wake up and realize certain people don't deserve freedom???

Wednesday, March 8 | Report this

They all come running for Kibbles and Bits!

Honoré for the win, though!

I just wish my idea for a wall between Barrington and EP was taken more seriously!

Wednesday, March 8 | Report this

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.