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AG: Salem police officer arrested on assault charges
SALEM — A Salem police officer has been arrested on assault charges related to an arrest last October, according to the Attorney General's Office.
Attorney General Joseph A. Foster announced in a press release that Salem Police Officer Joseph Freda was arrested Wednesday on two counts of simple assault in connection with the Oct. 6, 2013, arrest of Thomas Templeton, 39.
According to the release, New Hampshire state police notified the Attorney General's Office on Oct. 22, 2013, of Templeton's arrest by Officer Freda and injuries the suspect sustained. The AG's office assigned investigators to examine the case, who allege that while on duty, Freda "knowingly caused bodily injury to Templeton by striking Templeton in the head with a flashlight thereby causing lacerations," according to the release, and that Freda "knowingly caused unprivileged physical contact by stepping on Templeton’s hand when Templeton was seated on the ground," with his hands handcuffed behind his back.
Freda's arraignment in the 10th Circuit Court, Salem District Division, on the charges has yet to be scheduled.
Freda was involved in another case in which a suspect was injured while being taken into custody in 2012.
Dalton Cyr of Salem was sentenced to 12 months in county jail in May of 2013 after pleading guilty to simple assault, resisting arrest and attempting to take possession of a law enforcement officer’s firearm.
Salem police officers were responding to a report of a fight at a residence on Stonegate Lane the night of Nov. 30, 2012, when they found an underage drinking party.
Prosecutors said Cyr, who was 20 at the time, was facing a summons for underage drinking, but he became combative with Officer Freda.
“He told the police officers that he was not going anywhere and that he was 21 years old,” assistant county attorney Brad Bolton told the New Hampshire Union Leader last May.
Another officer talked to Cyr and tried to get him to calm down, according to Bolton. But Cyr resisted being taken into custody and “began to kick Freda down the stairs,” Bolton said.
Cyr then grabbed at Freda’s firearm “and began pulling it violently” out of the holster, Bolton said. The gun belt was pulled so hard that the holster was turned to the front of the officer’s waist.
Freda struck Cyr in the face as he tried to keep his gun from being taken, according to Bolton.
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