SEABROOK, N.H.

Three officers in videotaped 2009 incident identified

 

The town manager in Seabrook has released the names of three police officers suspended after a video surfaced showing a suspect being slammed into a wall at the police station more than four years ago.

Town Manager Bill Manzi said the officers identified in the Nov. 11, 2009, video are Keith Dietenhofer, Mark Richardson and Adam Laurent. They are on paid administrative leave.

Police Chief Lee Bitomske said each officer has six to 12 years of experience as patrolmen.

The U.S. attorney’s office and the FBI have joined the state attorney general’s investigation of the incident.

The police report from that day says then-19-year-old Michael Bergeron, arrested on misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated and possessing drugs, was struggling and being uncooperative.

Laurent said in the report that Bergeron was “an emotional roller coaster” as he was being booked, one minute happy, the next making derogatory comments to officers. He said Bergeron refused to walk back to his jail cell and that “Richardson appeared to perform an arm bar” on Bergeron.

“Due to Bergeron’s prior spitting and failure to comply to anyone’s order as he was on an emotional roller coaster, I pepper-sprayed him as he looked back at us in the hallway,” Laurent wrote.

Bergeron’s attorney, Scott Gleason, told WMUR-TV that the video and police reports “don’t square up.” He said he’s concerned that what he saw in the video was not in the police report.

“The police reports don’t necessarily mention the level of force that was used,” Gleason said.

FALL RIVER, Mass.

Hernandez associate said to be just ‘along for the ride’

An associate of former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez who has been charged as an accessory to murder was just “along for the ride,” his lawyer said Thursday.

Speaking after a brief court hearing, defense attorney John Connors suggested his client, Carlos Ortiz, went out on the night Odin Lloyd was killed last summer because he was awe-struck by the “superstar” NFL player.

Connors compared it to being asked by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and called Hernandez the “hometown hero” of Bristol, Conn., where both men are from.

“The night didn’t turn out the way it should have,” Connors told reporters. “He happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whatever went on, he had no part in it.”

Ortiz, who appeared in Fall River Superior Court on Thursday but did not speak, has pleaded not guilty to accessory to murder after the fact. He is being held on $500,000 cash bail.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in Lloyd’s death. The 27-year-old Boston man was dating the sister of Hernandez’s girlfriend, Shayanna Jenkins. She has pleaded not guilty to perjury in connection with her testimony before the grand jury that indicted Hernandez.

Connors said he expects to seek to suppress statements Ortiz made to authorities in Connecticut during “hours and hours” of interrogation without a lawyer present.

Ortiz initially told authorities that Hernandez and another associate, Ernest Wallace, got out of the car they were in with Lloyd before he heard shots ring out. Prosecutors say Ortiz later changed his story, saying only Hernandez and Lloyd got out.

Wallace is also charged with accessory to murder after the fact and has pleaded not guilty.

WINDSOR, Vt.

Man wanted in domestic incident commits suicide

Vermont State Police say a New Hampshire man wanted in connection with a domestic incident in his home state jumped to his death from an Interstate 91 bridge while troopers tried to make contact with him.

Vermont police say they were called at about 11 a.m. Thursday after receiving a report that 37-year-old Joseph Sylvester, of Claremont, might be near an interstate bridge in Windsor.

Troopers from Vermont and New Hampshire and officers from the Windsor police and fire departments responded.

When the first trooper arrived Sylvester was standing at the edge of the bridge in the southbound lane. He jumped before contact was made.

He was found below on Vermont Route 44. He was declared dead at the scene.

The investigation is continuing.

HOLDERNESS, N.H.

Ice-harvesting tradition gets cold and early start

The tradition of harvesting lake ice at a New Hampshire campground is off to a cold and early start.

Crews started sawing blocks for the Rockywold-Deephaven Camps in Holderness on Thursday, something they’ve been doing for more than a century.

Last year, the three-day harvest didn’t start until on Feb. 6, due to rain, warm temperatures and wind. The recent cold snap made for better ice conditions this year.

This year, it’s being removed from Squaw Cove, an isolated spot along Squam Lake.

NEWINGTON, Conn.

Man smashes vehicle into gas station to swipe banana

Call it the case of the banana-eating bandit.

Police in Connecticut say they’re looking for a man who smashed his vehicle into a gas station in Newington, swiped a banana from a shelf and ate it before leaving early Wednesday morning. Nothing else was taken.

The store’s surveillance video shows a Ford Freestyle with Connecticut license plates backing repeatedly into the store and breaking the glass doors, which set off the burglar alarm at about 2 a.m.

The man was gone before police arrived.

Police say the station wagon has damage to the driver’s side taillight and rear bumper.

BOSTON

ACLU seeks ‘comprehensive remedy’ in drug-lab scandal

The American Civil Liberties Union is asking the highest court in Massachusetts to come up with a comprehensive plan for handling thousands of criminal cases tainted by a scandal at a state drug lab.

Chemist Annie Dookhan was sentenced in November to serve at least three years in prison for faking test results and tampering with evidence at the lab.

The ACLU of Massachusetts and the national ACLU on Thursday filed a petition with the state Supreme Judicial Court asking the court to intervene and put in place a “comprehensive remedy” for the people whose cases were handled by Dookhan. The lab was shut down in August 2012 after the extent of Dookhan’s misconduct was discovered.

The ACLU said that the court’s intervention is needed to clear the records of defendants affected by Dookhan’s actions.

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I.

Octopus Pearl produces hundreds of offspring

The Octomom has nothing on Pearl the Rhode Island octopus.

Pearl’s eggs recently produced hundreds of baby reef octopuses at the Biomes Marine Biology Center in North Kingstown. It’s the first time in the center’s 24-year history that octopus eggs have hatched there.

A volunteer collected Pearl earlier this fall and she laid her eggs in her tank in November.

Biomes workers initially believed the eggs were infertile. Now they’re trying to figure out what to do with all of the offspring. They’re currently in a giant holding tank in the center’s basement, feeding on a large colony of plankton. provided by Roger Williams University.