EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

March 18, 2014

Derry man indicted in alleged hammer attack

BRENTWOOD — A Derry man has been indicted on charges he attacked several police officers when they tried to arrest him in January.

Shawn DeCoste, 36, of 109 Franklin St., Apt. 3D, was recently indicted on four charges by a grand jury in Rockingham Superior Court.

He faces charges of first-degree assault, attempted first-degree assault, resisting arrest and attempted taking of a firearm from a law enforcement officer.

DeCoste had to be shot with a stun gun Jan. 2 because he charged at police, swinging a hammer at two officers, according to Derry police Capt. Vern Thomas.

One officer was almost hit in the head, Thomas said, and DeCoste struck another on the forearm and injured his wrist.

DeCoste also tried to bite a third officer’s hand while being arrested and tried to grab a fourth officer’s gun from its holster, according to the indictments.

The fracas occurred after the team of Derry officers went to DeCoste’s apartment because he made threats on his Facebook page that he was going to kill his therapist and police officers, Thomas said.

Police entered the apartment after DeCoste did not answer the door. He then approached officers with the hammer, Thomas said.

DeCoste has been held on the county jail in lieu of $250,000 cash bail since his arrest.

DeCoste has an extensive criminal record, including a conviction for allegedly threatening a Southern New Hampshire University administrator in October 2009. The incident led to an hourlong lockdown of the campus.

If convicted, DeCoste faces seven and a half to 15 years in state prison on each charge of first-degree assault, attempted first-degree assault and attempted taking of a firearm from a law enforcement officer.

The resisting arrest charge, a misdemeanor, is punishable by up to a year in jail.

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