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Man in custody after SWAT team called out in Gilmanton

By DAN SEUFERT
Union Leader Correspondent

June 11. 2015 10:59PM
MICHAEL TAPE 

GILMANTON – A man charged with assaulting a Massachusetts police officer last month held a police SWAT team at bay for more than three hours Thursday afternoon before being taken into custody - but not before police used a Taser, pepper spray and several rounds of tear gas on him.

Michael Tape, 51, who was out on bail for a charge of assault on a Framingham, Mass., police officer on May 19, was charged with five crimes, including assault of a police officer after an incident that started outside Tape’s home at 23 Musket Trail at about 3 p.m., according to Police Chief Joseph Collins.

No one was hurt in the incident, Collins said. But it took a lot to subdue Tape, Collins said.

"We originally went there for a medical call, but he threatened to kill an officer with a gun when we first got there, and then he threatened to kill any officer who came near him after that," the chief said. "It turned into a circus."

Police called for the Belknap County SWAT team immediately, Collins said, "when he first said, ‘I’m going to (expletive) kill any cop who comes near me.’ He said that several times.

"It’s an officer’s safety issue at that point," he said. "We can’t take any chances."

Police were called to the home, Collins said, after Tape, who was "drunk and belligerent," was seen by neighbors at his home bleeding from a head wound. As rescue crews and police arrived, Tape, who had been on his porch, barricaded himself in his home.

Tape had suffered the head wound in a scuffle with Framingham police, Collins said, in the May incident as police were trying to take him into protective custody.

"It was the same wound," the chief said. "He got it fighting with police officers in Massachusetts."

After firing multiple rounds of pepper spray and tear gas into the house, Tape finally dropped to the floor of his home after a Taser was used, Collins said.

He was taken into custody shortly after 6 p.m.

He was charged with two counts of assault, two counts of criminal threatening, and one count of assaulting a police officer.

He was taken to the Belknap County jail to be arraigned on the charges Friday morning. He is being held on $5,000 cash bail.

All of the charges are misdemeanors, Collins said.

In the Massachusetts incident, police charged Tape with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of assault and battery and malicious destruction of property for tearing one of the officer's uniforms, according to the MetroWest Daily News.

After Tape was arrested for that incident, police discovered he had three warrants out for his arrest. He had a Lynn District Court warrant for assault and battery and a second for shoplifting. He also had a Chelsea District Court warrant that charged him with failing to attend jury duty, the newspaper reported.

dseufert@newstote.com


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