BERLIN — Berlin Police are asking for the public’s help after a video of an assault in which a man was repeatedly struck by two assailants, knocked unconscious and then kicked in the head was posted on social media.
“We are aware of the video and are investigating it,” said Lt. Jeffrey Lemoine, who is the Berlin PD’s head of detectives, to determine “if there’s more to the story than just a disagreement” among the parties involved.
While saying he could not provide any information about the assault, which was seemingly recorded on a cellphone, Lemoine on Wednesday afternoon said the assault has been discussed with Coos County Attorney John McCormick.
When asked, he said it is the second such video of an assault that he has seen, but did not provide details.
Lemoine said he had hoped that the 27-second long video would not have made it to Facebook, explaining that the publicity from its being there “makes our job more difficult.”
Now that the video is out, however, Lemoine appealed to the public to contact Berlin Police via its anonymous tip line or to call him directly at 752-3131.
Among people in Berlin who may have posted the assault video to their social media pages, one who confirmed he did — and did so deliberately — was Dick Poulin.
This video was shared with the Union Leader by Poulin, who had shared it on his Facebook page. The video was later taken down. (To view the video, go to www.unionleader.com).
A former state representative, Poulin is a longtime Berlin booster and businessman, having owned and operated Middle Earth for 51 years on Main Street in the downtown.
Middle Earth is a funky, eclectic place, where visitors are greeted by Poulin’s terrier, McDuff, and where the first floor is all light and G-rated whimsy while the upstairs is strictly for adults only.
Viewed by some as the city’s conscience, Poulin recently became aware of the assault video and after making Berlin Police aware of it, he posted it to his Facebook page in a conscious effort to provoke comments that could help with the criminal investigation.
Before the video got taken down, it drew nearly 200 comments.
The video reflects badly on Berlin, Poulin said, and shocked him with its gratuitous violence, in which the victim, clearly unable to defend himself, has his head “stomped on” by one of the assailants.
Poulin hopes his going public with the video will encourage anyone who has information about the assault or other crimes to come forward and speak with authorities.
Known for speaking his mind, Poulin, who is completing treatment for prostate cancer, summed up, “This thing about not snitching really offends me.”