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Weare chief deploys body cameras early after intoxicated bar patron fights officer, damages cruiser

By Kathleen Baglio Humphreys
Union Leader Correspondent

August 15. 2014 12:55PM
Timothy Florentino of Weare was arrested and being held at Valley Street Jail on $30,000 bond. Besides a long list of charges, he allegedly kicked out the window of the police cruiser. (Weare Police)

WEARE - A local man is facing a laundry list of charges after an altercation with police at a bar Thursday afternoon and the chief of police is speeding deployment of body cameras into the field as a result.

"This is not us looking out at the public in terms of surveillance but them looking into us. I was taking my time and getting input, but after yesterday, I figured we can adjust the policy after if necessary," said Chief John Velleca  said. "The officers want to get the cameras."
Thursday's incident began at approximately 3:30 p.m.,  when Officer Brandon Montplaisir was called to Stark House Tavern, formerly Boondocks Tavern, at  487 South Stark Highway, for a report of an altercation between the bar owner and an intoxicated patron, Timothy Florentino, 22, of 85 East Road.

"The owner called for an intoxicated patron and told us the guy was asked to leave and he didn't want him to drive and they got into an altercation," said Velleca.

Officer Montplaisir  met with resistance from Timothy Florentino and a fight allegedly ensued with Florentino allegedly swinging at Officer Montplaisir, according to police.

A passer-by who witnessed the altercation called the police station where three officers and the chief happened to be meeting to finalize the department's new body camera policy.  They quickly responded to the South Stark Highway tavern.

"Shortly thereafter, Florentino was subdued after additional police officers arrived," said Velleca. "Upon arrest, Florentino was placed in the rear of a Weare Police cruiser where he proceeded to kick violently at the rear passenger-side window, breaking the window and the accompanying door frame."

The chief opened the door to talk to Florentino and calm him but once the door was closed  Florentino allegedly began banging his head on the glass and kicked out the window, according to police.

"Since he was so violent, instead of bringing him to our station to do paperwork we decided to transport him directly to Valley Street jail. We had officers in the car with him and another vehicle following. As we drove down Route 114 he was trying to jump out the broken window to escape. We couldn't get the seat belts on him because he was fighting vehemently, so we called Manchester police to use their transfer van," said Velleca.

"It was nice to see the agencies working well together. It was good team work. We rely on Manchester a lot and go to mutual aid training with them. They have always been there for us," said Velleca.

Florentino  continued kicking in the Manchester police van and gave jail officials a hard time too, according to the chief.

"He gave everybody a hard time and had been drinking for quite some time," Valleca said. "We suspected more than alcohol intoxication."

Florentino was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, criminal threatening, criminal mischief, resisting arrest or detention, simple assault, and criminal attempted escape. He was arraigned in Circuit Court-Manchester District Division Friday, where bail was set at $30,000 cash/surety.  He is scheduled to appear in Goffstown District Division Aug. 21.

The Weare prosecutor said Florentino has a 2008 conviction for DWI and two drug convictions from 2013, one of which carries a 12-month suspended sentence.

Florentino told Judge William Lyons "These are all lies."  He said Weare police are harassing him.

Thursday afternoon's incident prompted Velleca to speed up deployment of body cameras.  He said  the  camera policy was finalized Thursday and officers could be wearing them as early as Friday night. The decision to equip officers with body cameras was made at the end of June and was to be implemented after training and the policy being finalized.

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