EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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April 9, 2013

Salem man accused of trying to strangle woman

SALEM, N.H. — A patient at the Center for Life Management group home faces multiple charges after he allegedly tried to strangle a staff member yesterday afternoon.

James Lavoie, 50, Salem is charged with disorderly conduct, second-degree assault, reckless conduct, placing another in danger and criminal threatening.

Police were called to the home on Howard Street just before 4 p.m. The female staffer had gotten away from her attacker, and she and another employee had locked themselves in a bathroom. She told police Lavoie had put her in a headlock, restricting her breathing.

The victim told police she believed Lavoie was going to choke her to death, Lt. Robert Morin said. When she tried to escape, Lavoie pulled her by the hair. A coworker heard screaming, ran to help and managed to free the alleged victim.

Police didn't find Lavoie at the home, but K-9 Til tracked him to the nearby VFW Hall. There, the officers found Lavoie sitting at a table, a buck knife in his hand, Morin said today. One officer drew his service revolver.

Police ordered Lavoie to drop the weapon. When Lavoie did not comply, Til was ordered to start barking and Lavoie was warned the dog would be released if he didn't drop the knife, Morin said.

Lavoie was distracted by Til, a German shepherd, and when he was, an officer kicked the knife from his hand, Morin said.

Police got Lavoie to the floor, handcuffed him and took him to the station.

In an interview with detectives, Lavoie said he intended to kill himself "and take someone with him," Morin said.

Lavoie is scheduled to be arraigned today in 10th Circuit Court.

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