About 80 people attended a community meeting hosted by police Thursday night, hoping to learn more about a Nov. 24 home assault that has put the community on edge.
"When the Quesadas arrived at their residence, they were confronted and assaulted by a male, approximately six feet tall or taller, which we now have reason to believe was dark-skinned," Police Chief John Bryfonski told the crowd at Bedford High School. "We don't have information with respect to ethnicity."
Dr. Eduardo Quesada, 52, a Manchester anesthesiologist/pain doctor and his wife, Sonia, both were injured, he more severely.
Bryfonski didn't rule out the possibility that the incident was connected with Quesada being an anesthesiologist, or that there was more than one assailant at the 7 Proclamation Court home.
Though he refused to provide details of the investigation - which involved local and state police as well as the DEA and FBI - Bryfonski detailed for residents what occurred the night of the attack.
At 10:10 p.m., Bedford police received a 911 call from a neighbor of the Quesada residence concerning Sonia Quesada, who had appeared at the neighbor's house and reported a burglary in progress with injury to the victims.
While Mrs. Quesada was being transported to the hospital, Bryfonski said it took at least 30 minutes before a tactical team entered the residence and found Dr. Quesada in critical condition. State Police removed Dr. Quesada and the couple's 2-year-old daughter, who was unharmed.
Several residents asked the chief why it took so long for police to enter the home.
Bryfonski said the house is larger than ordinary and sits on more than two acres. He said recent training of the Bedford Police by the State Police Tactical Team allowed a quicker response.
"Had they not had that training, we would've probably had to wait hours to be able to assemble a SWAT team," from other departments, the Bryfonski said.
After the meeting, the police chief took questions from the media.
"Folks may criticize how long it may have taken, but in talking with both our personnel and state police personnel, it was conducted with all speed and due diligence," Bryfonski said
Quesada was transferred from Manchester's Elliot Hospital to a Massachusetts hospital a couple of days after the attack; Bryfonski said his condition is improving. Sonia Quesada was released from Elliot after several days of treatment.
One resident asked Bryfonski to explain the law surrounding the use of deadly force by a civilian against someone breaking into their home. The chief declined to answer, advising the man to study the law.
He advised residents to be on guard, use alarm systems, install motion detectors facing wooded areas, and call 911, no matter how trivial the case might seem.
"If you see something, say something," he said.
Meanwhile, police said 25 residents have sought concealed weapons permits since the Quesada home invasion. In total, Bedford has about 1,045 residents with such permits. A local permit is not needed to purchase or own a weapon, only to conceal it.
"I would attribute it a little to (the Quesada assault). When something like this happens, people get a little edgy," Capt. Daniel Douidi said Thursday afternoon, before the community forum.
Bryfonski said he is confident there will be an arrest in the case.
"I'm confident that we will identify, arrest and successfully prosecute the person or persons responsible for this crime," Bryfonski said.
- - - - - - - -New Hampshire Union Leader Staff Writer Mark Hayward ( firstname.lastname@example.org) contributed to this report. Simon Rios may be reached at email@example.com.