September 12. 2013 10:51PM

Exeter fire lieutenant placed on paid leave following DWI arrest

Union Leader Correspondent

EXETER — An Exeter fire lieutenant is on paid administrative leave after he was arrested last week and charged with drunken driving after an accident in downtown Exeter.

Norman “Ward” Byrne, 45, of Brentwood, is charged with driving while intoxicated and will likely face an additional charge of conduct after an accident, according to police Capt. William Shupe.

Byrne was arrested Sept. 4 after police were called around 8 p.m. to a verbal altercation between Byrne and another man at the Alltown Mobil gas station on Epping Road, Shupe said.

While responding to the call, police received a second call reporting that a parked vehicle was struck on Water Street near Stillwell’s Riverwalk Ice Cream in downtown Exeter.

Shupe said Byrne left Alltown Mobil station by the time police arrived, but after taking statements from witnesses, they began looking for a Dodge pickup truck owned by Byrne.

Shupe said police found the vehicle at an Exeter residence.

Police made contact with Byrne and arrested him.

The vehicle that was hit downtown sustained minimal damage, Shupe said.

Byrne was released on $1,000 personal recognizance bail and will be arraigned Monday in the 10th Circuit Court in Brentwood.