BRENTWOOD — A Maine man, allegedly beaten by a Salem police officer, has been indicted by a grand jury.
Thomas Templeton, 39, of 7 Prospect St. in York was recently indicted in Rockingham Superior Court on charges of reckless conduct, resisting arrest and disobeying an officer.
He is charged with trying to avoid police when they tried to stop him for speeding Oct. 6 on Interstate 93 south.
Templeton got off at Exit 1 in Salem and then sped down Veterans Memorial Parkway, according to police.
Police estimated Templeton was driving 80 mph to 90 mph. The pursuit ended a short time later when Templeton pulled into Salem Nissan on Main Street and fled.
Police later found Templeton hiding in some brush, but he wouldn’t allow New Hampshire State Police Trooper Andrew Monaco to arrest him, an indictment said.
Salem police Officer Joseph Freda, 33 was charged with two counts of simple assault for allegedly hitting Templeton in the head and groin while he was taken into custody.
Templeton suffered lacerations to his head. Freda also allegedly stepped on Templeton’s hand while he was handcuffed and on the ground, according to a report by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office.
Freda reportedly told fellow officers he “whipped” Templeton with a flashlight and “whacked” him in the groin.
The officer was later terminated by Salem Town Manager Keith Hickey, who said the town has a no-tolerance policy for excessive use of force.
Templeton faces three and a half to seven years in prison if convicted of reckless conduct. The two other charges are misdemeanors each punishable by up to a year in jail.
Templeton has been incarcerated at the county jail since his arrest.