SALEM, N.H. — Salem police Sgt. Michael Verrocchi, 41, was arrested Wednesday for a 2012 incident involving reckless conduct with a deadly weapon and disobeying an officer, according to the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office.
Verrocchi has been on paid administrative leave since February 2019, when the attorney general announced possible criminal investigations into four top-ranking Salem police officers, including Verrocchi.
The others are now-retired Deputy Chief Robert Morin, retired Chief Paul Donovan, and Capt. Michael Wagner.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Verrocchi was the only suspended officer to have been arrested.
"The Salem Police Department has been notified that an employee of the agency, Michael Verrocchi, has been arrested and charged by the New Hampshire Attorney General after a long-term investigation pursuant to an incident that took place in 2012," Deputy police Chief Joel Dolan said in a press release Wednesday afternoon.
"This employee is already on administrative leave and will remain on leave, consistent with the department's collective bargaining agreement and department policy," he continued.
The reckless conduct charge against Verrocchi alleges that on Nov. 10, 2012, Verrocchi was speeding while driving a Jeep Cherokee on Route 28 in Salem and did not stop when one of his colleagues, Officer Sean York, attempted to stop him, according to the attorney general's statement.
Verrocchi sped away from York for about 2 miles, the statement says. He is accused of running a red light and avoiding spike strips put in the road by Kevin Swanson, another Salem officer.
Verrocchi's vehicle constitutes a deadly weapon under New Hampshire law, according to the statement.
Salem Civilian Administrator Brian Pattullo said the Attorney General's Office notified him of the impending arrest Wednesday.
"I was notified this morning by the AG that they were going to take some action against Sgt. Verrocchi. I was notified a bit later that he had been charged and turned himself in (at State Police barracks)," Pattullo said.
Because it is a personnel matter, Pattullo could not say if Verrocchi was reprimanded for the incident when it happened.
In the press release Dolan said, "Our agency is committed to transparency, legitimacy and to the highest standards of modern municipal policing. We are committed to earning and maintaining the trust of our residents and visitors, and I sincerely appreciate the support of our community during this time."
Neither Town Manager Chris Dillon nor Human Resources Director Anne Fogarty responded to immediate requests for comment.
Verrocchi also did not respond to a phone call from The Eagle-Tribune. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Rockingham Superior Court on Jan. 30.