EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 27, 2012

Danville man arrested for assault after long standoff

By Doug Ireland and Jo-Anne MacKenzie direland@eagletribune
jmackenzie@eagletribune.com

---- — DANVILLE — A lengthy standoff between a Danville man and more than two dozen police officers ended peacefully at 6:30 last night.

N.H. State Police Maj. Chris AuCoin said police were able to coax Eric LaBarge, 35, out of a mobile home at 13 Christian St. in Cotton Farm Village, a mobile home park that straddles the Danville/Sandown line.

Police had been on the scene since midday, hours after LaBarge allegedly assaulted his girlfriend along Interstate 93 in Londonderry.

As of last night, he had been charged with aggravated felonious assault, but police said more charges were possible.

LaBarge and his girlfriend were traveling south near Exit 4 about 9 a.m. yesterday when they got into an argument, AuCoin said. LaBarge allegedly started beating her while traveling down the highway. The vehicle pulled over alongside the road and he continued his assault, police said.

Some off-duty Manchester firefighters stopped and intervened, AuCoin said. The woman was taken to Parkland Medical Center in Derry.

“His girlfriend was seriously wounded and she was hospitalized,” AuCoin said. He would not name the woman. Neighbors in the mobile home park identified her only as “Kate” and said she was in her 30s.

Police would not say whether LaBarge was armed when he surrendered to them last night.

In October 2010, LaBarge and Kate Bieniecki, then 33, were charged with stabbing a friend at the now closed Driftwood Motel on Salisbury Beach.

The two were charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault and battery for allegedly repeatedly stabbing Michael Lemire, then 34.

But in January 2011, after Lemire did not appear in court when summonsed, a Newburyport District Court judge dismissed the charges without prejudice, meaning they could be reinstated.

LaBarge was accused of stabbing Lemire in a motel room bathroom and Bieniecki was charged with holding Lemire down.

The three had partied and used drugs at the motel the night before, according to evidence presented in court.

Yesterday, an alert was issued for LaBarge after the assault on I-93. Police arrived at the mobile home park about noon.

LaBarge lives at 19 Wesley St. in the same park. Neighbors said he came to the door of 13 Christian St., a mobile home owned by Frank Saviano, at about 9:30 yesterday morning.

He carried a basket of laundry and asked if he could could take a nap, neighbors said. He told them he had been involved in an altercation with “Kate” and he was done with her.

Police tried to communicate with LaBarge by telephone throughout the afternoon and starting using a bullhorn in the evening. He finally responded and surrendered peacefully. He was taken to the Danville police station for processing.

Neighbors stood around for hours, some waiting to return to their homes, others simply curious.

Diane Gauthier, 63, who lives at 16 Wesley St., had been separated from her 80-year-old husband Roland for about seven hours. A trooper stayed with the elderly man at the couple’s home throughout the standoff.

“It’s good to go home to see him,” she said. “He was nervous. He was really worked up about it.”

She said LaBarge, who had lived at in the mobile home park with his girlfriend for about a year, was a good neighbor. But Gauthier said he sometimes lost his temper and did things he would later regret.

“He’ll do anything for you,” she said. “He will do projects for you, he’ll fix things for you. He just has an anger problem.”

AuCoin, state police Lt. Kevin Duffy and Danville police Chief Wade Parsons praised the officers for their work and the neighbors for their patience during the standoff.

“It’s been a long day for them and a long night,” AuCoin said.

In the Salisbury case, LaBarge was held without bail on the stabbing charges. Last year, after the charges were dropped, he remained in jail because he was a fugitive from justice from New Hampshire for violating parole convictions from a previous conviction.