RI radio show host John DePetro arrested for trespassing in Warwick

WARWICK—John DePetro, a freelance radio show host from Rhode Island, has been arrested and faces a trespassing charge in Warwick.

Warwick chief Brad Connor told The Globe on Wednesday that DePetro was arrested outside a house on Staples Avenue on Tuesday.

The house is linked to a woman who disappeared in May. Charlotte Lester, 44, was known to frequent the house, which had previously been searched by police, although her connection to the house or its owners remains unclear.

Lester’s dog was found stray a few miles away around Elmwood Avenue on May 18, and his red Toyota Tacoma van was found in the parking lot of Kent Hospital on May 20, the city said. police.

DePetro, whose show airs on 1380 AM and 99.9 FM WNRI as well as online, was streaming live on his Facebook page at the time of his arrest. DePetro told his viewers that he went to the house to “continue to seek answers from the owner of the house” who allegedly “refused to provide any details to the media about his disappearance or why Warwick police have treated his house like a crime scene for a month.”

Connor told the Globe that DePetro was released with a court summons on September 1.

DePetro then posted a video to his Facebook page from outside Warwick Police Station and said Tuesday’s arrest was his first. He claimed that as he approached the house he saw owner Mark Perkins through the window and appeared to have “given up on” DePetro. DePetro said he thought Perkins was telling him to ride home.

“We will vigorously defend this attack on the press in court and look forward to calling Mark Perkins as a witness at trial,” DePetro wrote on his website. “Charlotte Lester remains missing and we will continue our efforts to bring the case to light.”

DePetro said in the video that he would plead not guilty.

Lester is still missing and his family has hired a private detective to investigate his disappearance.

Alexa Gagosz can be contacted at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.

Javier E. Swan