EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 5, 2011

Hospital patient charged with drunken attack

By Paul Tennant

HAVERHILL — "Is this the part where I kill you?" Dana Duchemin uttered as police placed him in a cruiser.

That is according to police and court officials, who yesterday recounted what they called a drunken attack by Duchemin on several people at Merrimack Valley Hospital.

According to a police report and the prosecutor, Duchemin kicked a nurse in the head and a police officer in the leg. Duchemin also attacked another officer, police said.

Police said Duchemin was so intoxicated that his family members dropped him off at the hospital around 7 p.m. Monday so that he could receive medical attention, Assistant District Attorney Heidi Sylvanowicz said yesterday.

But the well-intended plan went awry, the prosecutor said. Duchemin, 41, of 3 Maple St., became violent and attacked the nurse who was trying to help him, police said, and later attacked two police officers, they said.

Duchemin was arrested and charged with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (his boots), assault and battery on a police officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and threatening to commit a crime.

Police said the charge involving the threat resulted from his statement, "Is this the part where I kill you?" which Duchemin said as he was being placed in a police cruiser, according to a report filed win court by Patrolman Christopher Pagliuca.

Duchemin kicked John Cobbett, an emergency room nurse, in the head while hospital staffers were trying to restrain him, Pagliuca wrote. Duchemin also kicked Pagliuca in the left shin and inflicted an abrasion on Officer Penny Portalla's wrist, police said.

Sylvanowicz said Duchemin challenged police officers to fight at the hospital. Saying he has a record of violent behavior, she requested $5,000 cash bail. Duchemin's attorney, Joseph Gannon, said the defendant did not remember what happened at the hospital. Gannon asked for a lower bail amount.

Judge Patricia Dowling set bail at $750 cash and ordered Duchemin to attend the Structured Outpatient Addiction Program, which treats people with addictions.

"If he misses one day of SOAP, I'll revoke his bail," the judge said.

Dowling scheduled a pretrial hearing for Jan. 13. Duchemin remained held at Middleton jail as of yesterday afternoon.

• • •

Join the discussion. To comment on stories and see what others are saying, log on to eagletribune.com.