Hampton Falls couple face charges from police standoffBy JAMES A. KIMBLE
Union Leader Correspondent
June 24. 2014 8:02PM
BRENTWOOD — A Hampton Falls couple involved in an eight-hour standoff with police in February are facing new charges for the confrontation and burglarizing a Seabrook business months earlier, prosecutors said.
Daren Gragg, 37, and Melissa Amato, 32, were indicted charges of committing burglary, receiving stolen property and falsifying physical evidence, police said. The couple allegedly barricaded themselves inside a neighbor’s apartment in Hampton Falls on Jan. 14 when police came to their residence to question them about an investigation out of Amesbury, Mass., police said. Hampton Falls police called in the New Hampshire State Police SWAT Unit.
Prosecutors say Gragg and Amato broke into a neighbor’s apartment during the standoff and stole items, including an assortment of knifes and a laptop computer. Police also found Gragg in possession of a .45-caliber handgun and a dagger at the time of his arrest, according to indictments.
Gragg faces 15 charges total. Amato faces nine charges, including burglary, falsifying physical evidence and receiving stolen property, according to court records. Prosecutors said she was found in possession of bank or identification cards belonging to at least seven people.
The couple was also indicted for burglarizing a business on Lafayette Road in Seabrook on Jan. 2, police said. And Amato was charged with stealing $229 worth of merchandise from a Wal-Mart store in Seabrook on Dec. 30, according to court records.
Gragg and Amato are both facing Class B felonies, punishable by up to 3½ to 7 years in prison and a $4,000 fine. Gragg is being held on bail at the Rockingham County jail.