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Laconia man tried to hide from police in chilly river

LACONIA - A city man, arrested twice in one night in connection with a domestic assault, was taken into custody after police found him trying to hide by submerging himself in the very chilly Winnipesaukee River.

After police arrested Andrew Mitza, 22, of 32 Lyford St., No. 1, he immediately was transported to Lakes Region General Hospital to be evaluated after being in the water for a long period of time.

The incident began about 12:35 a.m. Thursday when police were called to his apartment for a reported domestic disturbance. According to a news release, Mitza had assaulted his girlfriend, Melissa Barrett, who lives at the same address, and had fled the scene.

He was arrested a short time later. Mitza was booked at the police station on an assault charge and then taken to Belknap County Jail because he was allegedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

He later was released on bail, which included conditions he have no contact with Barrett. About 3:35 a.m., while officers were at his apartment following up on the assault, they saw him approaching the residence.

When the officers approached him and told him he was violating his bail conditions, police said Mitza ran into the woods along Messer Street near the Winnipesaukee River, disappearing from sight.

A Gilford Police Department K-9 unit was brought to the scene to search for him, and officers located him submerged in the river.

He was subsequently charged with breach of bail and resisting arrest.

Mitza was being held on $5,000 cash bail with arraignment set for Thursday in 4th Circuit Court, Laconia District Division.

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