SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass. – The Town of Southbridge, Massachusetts is relieved after hearing news that a former resident was arrested in Fort Edward as a fugitive.
Gregory Lewis was arrested in Fort Edward Tuesday evening. The 26-year-old was wanted in Massachusetts in connection to multiple charges, including rape, robbery and gun charges.
Lewis had been on the run for more than a month. Authorities said on September 15, he cut off the GPS bracelet he had been ordered to wear. It followed his arrest for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl.
Within the last few days, authorities alerted the public Lewis was likely headed back to Southbridge. An already concerned community was left on edge.
“You never know,” neighbor Conrad Vandal said. “Like I got my grandkids, and my daughter said she didn’t think she was going to let them go out for trick or treat.”
Neighbors said several area school districts weren’t allowing students to go outside for recess because they were too worried.
In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Massachusetts State Police said Lewis made statements that “his ultimate goal was to come back and kill the victim of his original charge, so he was very close to the Massachusetts border.”
Lewis’ last known address was his parents’ home on Brentwood Drive. A sign on the front door reads “No interviews. Please leave.”
Lewis is also accused of beating up his stepfather and stealing his gun along with ammunition.
“It was almost like he had nothing to lose,” Mass. State Police Det. Lt. Michael Farley said. “And it was his last hurrah, and he was just gonna go out and do as much damage as possible for as long as he could.”
Tattoo artist Lou Jacque said he used to work on Lewis.
“He was kind of arrogant, stand-offish, and I’m just very happy that he got caught finally,” he said.
Jacque said he worked on Lewis the day before Lewis left town. With a 15-year-old daughter of his own, Jacque echoed the sentiments many in the community are feeling.
“I was psyched,” he said of learning about Lewis’ arrest. “I was very happy. Anybody that touches a kid or does anything to a kid like that, as far as I’m concerned, the world’s got no use for them.”
Washington County District Attorney Anthony Jordan said Lewis has not been officially charged with any crimes in New York State aside from Fugitive from Justice. If he is charged in New York, those charges would have to be resolved before he was extradited.
Jordan said he’s been talking with the Worcester County District Attorney to determine which case they should proceed with first.
Authorities said the investigation is ongoing because they believe there are likely other victims.