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Pembroke man shot by police to spend 10 to 28 years in prison
MANCHESTER — A Pembroke man, shot twice in the leg by police after a car chase last June in back alleys and on downtown streets, yesterday was sentenced to 10 to 28 years in prison.
Christopher Varagianis, 37, formerly of 12 Alyssa Drive, pleaded guilty in Hillsborough County Superior Court, Northern District, to five counts of reckless conduct accusing him of nearly hitting three police officers, a paramedic and a pedestrian. He also received a consecutive 3 1/2-to-7-year, suspended sentence.
Judge Gillian Abramson presided, issuing the sentence requested by prosecutors. Varagianis' attorney argued for seven years, maintaining his client's actions were fueled by his drug addiction.
The incident happened June 3 and began outside the 7 Days Market on Union Street, where Varagianis was reportedly found unconscious in his Jeep.
He woke up as paramedics and firefighters began to treat him and immediately drove off in his Jeep, nearly running over a paramedic. Mountain bike patrol officers chased after him and radioed for assistance. Soon, two unmarked police cars joined the pursuit.
Varagianis refused to pull over and drove at a high rate of speed in back alleys and along city streets, nearly hitting a pedestrian. He continued driving recklessly, almost striking three officers who tried to stop him.
Eventually, Varagianis rammed his Jeep into the front of an unmarked Chevrolet Yukon being operated by Detective Michael Lavallee, according to a preliminary report of the officer-involved shooting issued by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office in June.
The vehicles were locked grill-to-grill, with each driver stepping on the accelerator, while officers standing outside yelled for Varagianis to stop.
Ultimately, three officers fired at Varagianis who was hit twice in the leg. According to the attorney general's report, the officers who fired their weapons that day were Detective Joseph Mucci, who fired two shots at the Jeep's tires, flattening one of them; Lavallee, who aimed low and fired at Varagianis as his Jeep broke free, and an unidentified undercover officer who fired after he saw two other officers jump out of the way of the Jeep to avoid being hit.
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