EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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January 4, 2014

Derry man allegedly attacks police with hammer

Suspect faces several felony charges

DERRY — A Franklin Street man was ordered held on $250,000 cash bail yesterday after police said he attacked officers with a hammer when they responded to his home.

Shawn DeCoste, 36, of 109 Franklin St., Apt. 3D, had to be shot with a stun gun Thursday because he charged at police, swinging the hammer at one officer’s head, according to Derry police Capt. Vern Thomas.

The officer avoided being hit in the head, but was struck on the forearm, injuring his wrist, Thomas said.

As officers struggled with DeCoste to take him into custody, he tried to grab an officer’s gun from its holster, Thomas said. DeCoste was finally subdued with the stun gun and arrested, he said.

“He wanted to fight and the officers had to do what they had to do to detain him and take him into custody,” Thomas said.

DeCoste, arrested in October 2009 for allegedly threatening a Southern New Hampshire University administrator, faces several felony charges in connection with the incident Thursday.

It began when the team of three officers went to DeCoste’s apartment at approximately 1:20 p.m. Thomas said DeCoste had made threats on his Facebook page that he was going to kill his therapist and police officers.

In one Facebook posting on Thursday, DeCoste said one needs to kill any officer “who tries to take away your freedom or control you.”

In another posting, written Christmas Eve, DeCoste said, “I don’t like people asking me if I’m taking my medication just because I have a disagreement with them.”

Police entered the apartment after DeCoste did not answer the door, finding him in a bedroom. The officers requested that he come out, prompting DeCoste to approach them with the hammer, Thomas said.

Once in custody, DeCoste was held overnight at the Rockingham County jail and arraigned yesterday in 10th Circuit Court in Derry.

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