Seabrook fires two officers for Bergeron brutality; Third officer suspended, lieutenant demoted
“It was a dark cloud over us,” Seabrook police Chief Lee Bitomske said Wednesday, referring to the incident and its aftermath. “I’m hoping as time moves on, that cloud lifts.”
Joseph McKittrick, the town’s labor attorney, said the severity of the discipline handed down Wednesday was rare.
Bergeron, now 23, made headlines in January after posting a YouTube video that showed a Seabrook police officer slamming him into a wall in a police station hallway after he was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and drug possession that night.
Officers wrote in police reports that night that Bergeron was aggressive, uncooperative and on an “emotional rollercoaster.”
Bergeron was fined and had his license suspended for 18 months.
Town authorities placed officers Richardson, Laurent and Dietenhofer on paid administrative leave shortly after the video was posted.
Town authorities changed his administrative leave to unpaid after the indictment.
Joyce Bergeron, Michael Bergeron’s mother, expressed relief after Wednesday’s press conference.
She said the brutality stayed in her son’s mind long after his arrest.
“It just really bothered him for all these years,” she said, adding that he would “be very happy” to learn of the ruling.
Selectmen contracted Municipal Resources in April to conduct an independent investigation of the incident and the police department. Manzi said the investigation cost between $5,000 and $7,000.
Judge N. William Delker told Bergeron on June 9 that his attempts on Aug. 13, 2013, to gain entry into townhouses at a 110-unit complex in Hampton were surprisingly brazen.
Defense lawyer Tom Gleason, in requesting a lighter punishment before sentencing, said Bergeron had been accepted into a residential drug-treatment program in Portland, Maine, in an effort to deal with substance abuse issues.