An off-duty Manchester police officer was assaulted during an attempted robbery Wednesday night in Plaistow, possibly by youths connected to a string of carjackings in the greater Lawrence, Mass., area, according to media reports.

Manchester police spokesman Heather Hamel confirmed that an off-duty officer was the victim of an attempted robbery in Plaistow. She said her department would release no further information. Plaistow police are investigating the crime, Hamel said.

Plaistow is a border town located just north of Haverhill, Mass., which is part of the greater Lawrence area.

The Eagle-Tribune reported that as many as five teenagers assaulted the woman about 8:25 p.m. outside the Plaistow YWCA.

Plaistow police Chief Doug Mullin told the newspaper that the officer was treated and released from a local hospital. He did not know why she was at the YMCA.

The newspaper reported that the teens involved in the Plaistow assault may be the same group connected to a spree of armed carjackings and carjacking attempts in Merrimack Valley communities overnight.

A group attempted a carjacking in Lowell at 7:20 p.m., the newspaper said. A group pistol-whipped, robbed and carjacked a pizza delivery driver in Methuen at 9:20 p.m. And a group surrounded a man in North Andover, demanded his car keys and took off with his vehicle around 11 p.m.

Lawrence police arrested two 15-year-olds overnight. Methuen police said a teen was arrested after a police pursuit of the stolen North Andover vehicle. It ended in a crash in Lawrence.

A variety of agencies, including Massachusetts and New Hampshire state police as well as Lawrence and Methuen police, are involved in the investigation, the paper said. Search warrants were being executed and evidence collected on Thursday.

Friday, February 21, 2020