Ex-Seabrook police officer seeks dismissal of charges, has request sealed by court
BRENTWOOD — A former Seabrook police officer charged with slamming a 19-year-old man’s head into a wall at the town’s police station asked a judge to dismiss charges against him, filing his request under court seal.
The bid by ex-officer Mark Richardson, 39, of West Newbury, Mass. to have his case thrown out of court comes weeks before he goes on trial for one count of simple assault by a law enforcement officer.
An investigation into the actions of Richardson and two other officers began in January after the alleged victim, Michael Bergeron, posted a video of the incident on YouTube.
Bergeron was in custody Nov. 11, 2009 on a drunken driving charge, being led down a hallway at the police station, when he was allegedly shoved into the wall.
A grand jury indicted Richardson in April. He faces up to 2-5 five years in state prison if he is convicted by a jury.
Defense lawyer Peter Perroni filed his arguments under court seal from public view, along with another request to suppress evidence in the case, according to court records.
Perroni’s reasons for keeping Richardson’s arguments out of public view have also not been disclosed.
But in a prior court notice, Perroni informed the judge that his client could rely on a pair of state laws that allows people to use non-deadly force. The laws allow a person to act in self defense when threatened, use non-deadly force to effect an arrest or prevent a person to escape from custody.
State prosecutors have not yet responded to Perroni’s request.
Bergeron began serving a 1- to 3-year state prison sentence in June in an unrelated case after a jury convicted him of breaking into a Hampton condominium in the middle of the day. The burglary happened last Aug. 13. Neighbors who spotted Bergeron and his partner had either confronted them or called police.
State prosecutors have yet to disclose possible witnesses in the Richardson case, but Bergeron is likely to be called to testify.