Police: Wakefield man fabricated report of assault while aiding driver
WAKEFIELD - A man who claimed he was assaulted when he stopped to aid a disabled motorist on Jan. 5 has been charged with lying to police.
According to Wakefield Police Department Lt. Mark O'Brien, the man, Michael Paquette, 24, of Wakefield, was charged on Jan. 24 with filing a false report to law enforcement. Paquette told police that he was assaulted on his way to military drill with the National Guard and stopped to help a motorist that was broken down on Fellows Road when he was assaulted and knocked unconscious. After an investigation, however, Paquette admitted to making up the story to avoid drill training, and caused the injury to his head by hitting himself with a piece of ice.
Paquette sought out media attention for his alleged assault, and contacted WMUR-TV News 9 for an on-camera interview. He claimed to have stopped to help a motorist change a flat tire.
Paquette told police he bent over to help the man with his tire, when the driver said something to him. When he turned to look at him, the driver hit him with something, O'Brien said.
Paquette said he was knocked unconscious for about an hour. When he woke up on the ground in front of his vehicle, the other driver and his truck were gone. Paquette drove home and called police, according to O'Brien.
He told police he didn't know what he was hit with and that nothing was stolen.
O'Brien said there were problems with Paquette's report from the start. He said Fellows Road, located near the entrance to the town transfer station, is a busy spot on a Saturday morning. Paquette claimed to have been lying unconscious on the road for some time, but someone would have noticed him had the incident occurred as he described, O'Brien said.
Paquette is scheduled to appear for arraignment in 3rd Circuit Carroll County District Court in Ossipee on Feb. 20 at 11:30 a.m. Paquette was released on personal recognizance bail.
A National Guard spokesman told WMUR that Paquette was scheduled to begin basic training at the end of January, but that start date has been delayed.