MANCHESTER, NH — A Merrimack man was charged with drug possession and assaulting a police officer after a traffic stop came to blows Wednesday night following an alleged drug buy at Mike’s Pub & Grub.
On Sept. 16 Manchester Police Officer Ryan Boynton was focusing on a “predictive hot spot” while watching for illicit activities taking place in and around the area of Mike’s Pub & Grub. Officer Boyton observed a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu park on Pine Street, near the bar, and two men enter the establishment, exiting 10 minutes later.
The officer followed the vehicle as it pulled away, and conducted a motor vehicle stop at Lake Avenue and Elm Street at 6 p.m. after the driver failed to signal the turn.
The driver was identified as Joseph Clancy of Merrimack, and the passenger was identified as arrested, Corwin Dukes, 51, also of Merrimack.
The men stated they drove to Manchester to “grab a beer” at Mike’s Pub & Grub, but neither men consumed alcohol during their brief visit to the bar. Officers Mark Harrington and Matthew McDonald arrived and began speaking with the two men. Officer McDonald questioned Dukes when he noticed Dukes was speaking incoherently and appeared to have an object in his mouth. The officer believed the object was most likely an illegal substance and felt he was attempting to conceal or destroy evidence, so he physically grabbed hold of Dukes and ordered him to spit out the contraband.
According to police, this motion caused Dukes to push him away, which caused the officer to fall to the ground. Dukes landed on top of the officer and struck him in the face, causing his glasses to fall to the ground. The violent struggle continued as Dukes continued to fight with the officer by punching him and wrestling with him as they remained on the ground. Officer McDonald struck him several times as Dukes remained on top of him, but finally managed to reverse positions before placing handcuffs on him. They retrieved the item from his mouth, which tested positive for heroin (trace amounts). Dukes sustained a small laceration near his left eye as a result of the incident. The officer sustained minor scrapes during the scuffle, but continued in his duties after completing the arrest paperwork.
It appears the two men drove to the area so Dukes could purchase heroin. Dukes was charged with possession of a controlled drug, falsifying physical evidence, resisting arrest/detention and simple assault on a police officer. He is scheduled to appear in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on September 17, 2015. Clancy was cleared to leave the scene shortly after the incident and was not charged or cited.
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