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Details become public in off-duty assault case against Plaistow detective

Union Leader Correspondent

May 15. 2014 9:42PM
George Wickson, a Plaistow police detective, is shown testifying at a recent court hearing. He faces charges of criminal threatening and simple assault for an off-duty incident that happened last May. (JAMES A. KIMBLE/FILE PHOTO)

BRENTWOOD — A Plaistow police detective facing criminal threatening and simple assault charges got into an altercation at the home of a former East Kingston police officer after the officer’s wedding, according to court documents.

Details about the alleged off-duty assault by George Wickson, 41, are becoming public in Rockingham County Superior Court as he prepares to go on trial in July on charges of criminal threatening and simple assault.

Prosecutors said in a series of affidavits that the assault last May 25 happened at the Newton home of Chad Larson, an ex-East Kingston police officer who resigned after he was charged in a 2010 assault at Salisbury Beach, Mass. Those charges were ultimately resolved in 2012 when a Newburyport (Mass.) District Court judge agreed to continue the matter without a finding, according to reports.

Wickson faces up to 3½ to 7 years in state prison if he is convicted by a jury on the felony criminal threatening charge.

Newton police responded to a 911 call from Larson’s home after Wickson allegedly groped a 21-year-old woman and later pushed her boyfriend, Travis Larson, toward a car while holding a knife to his throat saying, “shut up or I’ll slice you,” according to court records.

“(Wickson) was a guest at Chad’s wedding earlier that day and Chad would later tell investigators that the defendant was intoxicated and being obnoxious while he was at his 53 Pond Street residence,” Hillsborough Assistant County Attorney Rose-Marie Balboni said in a sworn affidavit. The 21-year-old woman told police that Wickson was “very intoxicated, that he grabbed her buttocks while they were inside the residence and on numerous times put his arm around her and tried to kiss her and he also grabbed her hair,” according to Balboni.

Wickson also threw a beer can at Travis Larson’s sister after she confronted him about his alleged behavior, prosecutors said.

Wickson had left the area before Newton police arrived, prosecutors said. The case was eventually turned over to state police.

Wickson faces a felony charge for his interaction with Travis Larson, and misdemeanor simple assault and criminal threatening charges for his alleged interactions with the women, according to court records.

He is free on $10,000 personal recognizance bail.

Portsmouth defense lawyer Brian Lavallee has disputed the state’s version of events, saying his client adamantly denies the charges.

“The number of charges isn’t what matters,” Lavallee said. “It’s the quality of the evidence that matters.”

The Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office was called in to handle the case to avoid a conflict of interest with local prosecutors.

Wickson was placed on unpaid administrative leave following his indictment in October. He was also removed from the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force.

Courts Crime Newton Plaistow

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