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Facebook threats lead to more charges

Union Leader Correspondent

January 03. 2014 9:10PM

DERRY — A local man faces several felony charges after he allegedly posted messages on his Facebook page threatening to kill his therapist and police officers.

The alleged threats drew the attention of police who went to check on the welfare of Shawn Decoste, 36, who they said made the postings. When they encountered Decoste, police said he charged at officers with a claw hammer and tried to grab the gun of one officer.

Decoste, of 109 Franklin St., Apt. 3D, was arraigned in 10th Circuit Court in Derry Friday on charges of first-degree assault, attempted first-degree assault, (attempted) taking of a police officer's firearm, all felonies; and a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest.

Police aren't saying what prompted Decoste to allegedly make the threats or if he has a prior record.

"We are not discussing motive for Decoste or prior record," Derry police Capt. Vern Thomas said Friday.

There is no indication of alcohol of drugs in the alleged incident, Thomas said.

Police had gone to the apartment and announced their presence. When they entered the apartment, they called out to Decoste to come out from a bedroom of the apartment, police said.

Decoste emerged from the bedroom with a claw hammer and charged at them, swinging the hammer at the first officer's head. The officer was able to deflect the blow but was hit on the forearm with the hammer.

A struggle then ensued as officers tried to take Decoste into custody. During the struggle, Decoste attempted to pull an officer's handgun from his holster. The officers then used a Taser to finally subdue Decoste and arrest him, according to police.

Peter Houlis was the officer who was injured in the alleged incident, Thomas said.

Decoste's bail was set at $250,000 cash. He remains in custody at the Rockingham County Jail. He is scheduled for a probable cause hearing before Circuit Court on Monday, Jan. 13.

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