BRENTWOOD — A Plaistow police detective has been indicted on charges that he allegedly held a knife to the neck of a 22-year-old man in Newton, groped a 21-year-old woman and threw a beer and lunged at another woman during an off-duty incident in May, according to indictments.
George Wickson, 40, was indicted by a Rockingham County Superior Court grand jury on a felony count of criminal threatening for allegedly pointing the knife at the man, “and stating words to the effect of ‘shut up or I’ll slice you,’ ” according to an indictment.
Wickson also faces four misdemeanor charges that include two counts of simple assault, and single counts of criminal threatening and attempted simple assault for his alleged interactions with the two women.
The incident happened at an undisclosed location in Newton on May 25, according to indictments.
Rose-Marie Balboni, an assistant county attorney with the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office, said on Thursday that she could not comment on an open case.
The case was investigated by state police. The Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office was called in to handle the case to avoid a conflict of interest with local prosecutors.
Court papers say Wickson grabbed the 21-year-old woman by the hair at one point, “attempted to kiss her” and grabbed her buttocks. Wickson threw the beer at a 30-year-old woman, and “then lunged towards (her) as if to hit her,” according to court records.
Portsmouth defense lawyer Brian Lavallee said on Thursday that the indictments do not paint an accurate picture of what occurred.
“I’m not going to be able to make any particular comments on the allegations,” Lavallee said. “My client adamantly denies the charges. The grand jury is a secret, one-sided process, and I look forward to getting into court and beginning his defense in earnest.”
Plaistow police said in a released statement late Thursday afternoon that Wickson has been placed on unpaid administrative leave while the town conducts an internal investigation into his alleged conduct.
The criminal threatening charge for allegedly threatening the man with a knife is a Class B felony punishable by up to 3½ to 7 years in prison and a $4,000 fine. The misdemeanor charges are each punishable by up to a year in county jail and a $2,000 fine.
Wickson has served on the Rockingham County Sheriff Department’s Drug Task Force, and worked on several high profile cases over the years, including the investigation into the Plaistow couple charged in connection with the abuse of 3-year-old James Nicholson.
Roland Dow, 27, of Plaistow, is scheduled to go on trial later this year on charges of first- and second-degree assault for allegedly abusing the boy over several days in November.
Wickson is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Oct. 24 in Rockingham County Superior Court.