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SALISBURY, Mass. A Souhegan High School official was arrested after refusing to leave a northern Massachusetts strip club and being combative with police officers called for assistance by club security, according to court documents.
Peter Gagnon, 37, of Pelham, is the dean of students at Souhegan High School in Amherst. He was arrested early Wednesday on charges of disorderly conduct, trespassing and resisting arrest in Salisbury, Mass. Salisbury police were called to Ten s Show Club around 12:15 a.m. Wednesday for a report of an unwanted guest that refused to leave. Club security said the man, later identified as Gagnon, was standing close to other patrons private dances and was seen going in and out of the women s restroom, police said. Officers stated in sworn affidavits filed in Newburyport (Mass.) District Court that Gagnon appeared to be extremely intoxicated, with severely red and glassy eyes and was unsteady on his feet.
At first, we were trying to get him a ride home, Chief Thomas Fowler said Friday. Then we put him into protective custody. He resisted to that.
Gagnon became combative when officers attempted to handcuff him in the lobby area of the club, police said, and continued resisting despite being restrained and escorted from the club, Sgt. James Leavitt said in his signed report. Once outside, Gagnon refused to get in a police cruiser for several minutes and was warned a Taser would be used if he continued resisting, police said. One officer reported Gagnon said go ahead and Tase me. Leavitt applied the Taser with a five-second shock to Gagnon s chest, pushing him back into the rear of the car, where officers were able to tuck his legs into the cruiser and drive him to the police station, according to Leavitt s report.
Gagnon continued acting irrationally while he was being booked, police said, refusing to get out of the cruiser until officers physically removed him and brought him inside.
Each time a question was asked of him, he would become verbally insulting, Leavitt wrote. He would, however, change his attitude and show signs of being polite and apologetic. Police said Gagnon remained difficult as officers attempted to take his picture, holding up his middle finger, and later told officers his phone number was 1-800-(expletive)-you. Gagnon also resisted when officers attempted to place him in a cell, grabbing at the door until police forced him inside, according to the police reports. Leavitt and two officers who assisted him at the scene all documented the arrest in reports obtained Friday at District Court in Newburyport, Mass.
In a statement, SAU 39 Superintendent Peter Warburton said Gagnon has been placed on administrative leave but refrained from commenting any further on the matter as it involves a personnel issue.
The allegations involving Mr. Gagnon did not involve any students of the district, and did not occur during work hours. There are no known allegations related to student safety, Warburton said. The reports of Gagnon s behavior stood in stark contrast to images Gagnon posted recently on social media, showing him playing happily with two small children and celebrating Christmas and family birthdays. Attempts to reach Gagnon on Friday were unsuccessful. A woman who answered a call from a Union Leader reporter said no thank you and hung up.
Gagnon was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He was arraigned Thursday and a pretrial hearing date was set for June 27.
Gagnon s car was impounded after police located it a short distance from the club. An officer that took inventory of the vehicle s contents said it contained several empty beer containers, a ring and a cell phone.
Union Leader correspondent Kimberly Haas contributed to this report.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Markham, an Alaska Army National Guard Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Environmental technician, gears up in 2016 exercise. Image-U.S. Air Force/ Airman Isaac Johnson
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska The Alaska National Guard s 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction- Civil Support Team will be testing its ability to respond to a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threat in the municipality of Anchorage, May 1-3, alongside a multitude of other state Civil Support Teams and local, state and federal agencies. The annual exercise, dubbed Orca 2017, provides an opportunity for multiple agencies to tandemly react to a weapons of mass destruction event. During the exercise, teams will receive several notional CBRN threats within a 24-36 hour window that require rapid reaction and response by the players. This particular training will allow each agency to perfect its role within a weapons of mass destruction event and also sharpen their proficiencies when operating collectively.
Among the agencies who will be participating are: Alaska National Guard s Joint Operations Center, the Guam-based 94th WMD-CST, Nebraska-based 72nd WMD-CST, North Dakota-based 81st WMD-CST, Rhode Island-based 13th WMD-CST, 176th Civil Engineer Squadron, Alaska Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Alaska Public Health lab, Anchorage Police Department (SWAT), Anchorage Fire Department (HAZMAT), Palmer Fire Department, Port of Anchorage, Providence Hospital, Alaska Native Hospital, Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utility, University of Alaska, Alaska Railroad, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Federal Bureau and Investigation, U.S. Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, JBER Counter-Improvised Explosive Device, National Weather Service and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Orangeburg Consolidated School District 5 on Friday fired the private security firm it had used to provide security at North High/Middle School after an incident involving pepper spray the day earlier.
Seven students were exposed to pepper spray by the security officer assigned to the school.
We were very clear that we did not agree with the actions of the security officer and determined that it is in our best interest to terminate the services of DTH, Bill Clark, spokesman for the school district, said in a news release. The unnamed security officer sprayed a student with pepper spray twice, once after observing an exchange between a school administrator and the student and again after following the student into the school s Career Center. Other students in the Career Center were also exposed to the pepper spray, the district said. According to reports on Thursday afternoon, the exchange between a school official and the student arose from music playing on a cell phone and some apparent difficulty in turning it off.
After the pepper spray was discharged, law enforcement and EMS services were called to the school and the school was locked down to prevent other students from being exposed to the pepper spray, the district said.
All students involved in the incident were able to return to school on Friday, the district said.