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Police say Manchester man threatened officer with knife

MANCHESTER – An officer arrested a city man at gunpoint Wednesday night after the man threatened him with a knife, police said.

The incident happened about 9 p.m. Wednesday at the city 's Adam D. Curtis Skateboard Park, 271 Maple St.

Officer Kevin Jusza noticed a group of kids still inside the park which had closed. He walked into the park to remove them when he saw a man standing alone at the top of the skate ramp.

Jusza shined his flashlight on the man, told him the park was now closed and he had to leave. Instead of leaving, however, police said the man walked down the ramp and lay down on the concrete.

Jusza, his flashlight still shining on the man, walked over to him. When he was within three feet of him, the man reached into his waistband, pulled out a knife and pointed it at Jusza, police said.

Jusza pulled out his service revolver and ordered the man, identified by police as John Cloutier, 30, of 79 Winter St., Apt. 3, to drop the knife, according to police. Eventually, he did.

Cloutier was arrested on a felony charge of criminal threatening.

He could enter no plea to the felony threatening charge Thursday morning in 9th Circuit Court, Manchester District Division, so a probable cause hearing was set for Aug. 15.
He protested the felony charge, saying: "I'm not a criminal.  I was there after hours.  Everybody else left."  He said he thinks the officer just had to arrest somebody and he was the only person left to arrest. Cloutier said: "I wouldn't pull a knife out."
Judge Gregory Michael set bail at the $10,000 cash/surety requested by police prosecutor Carrissa Pelletier, with a  bail condition barring Cloutier from the skate park.

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