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Mason

Suspect escapes into the woods

Police chief injured in altercation

MASON — Police are searching for Russell N. Monbleau, 38, of Fitchburg, Mass., who they say injured Mason Police Chief Barry Hutchins during a traffic stop Friday night.

After the altercation, Monbleau fled into the woods. And Mason police — assisted by units from Brookline, Temple-Greenville and New Ipswich, as well as units and a K-9 from State Police and a K-9 from the Milford Police Department — launched a manhunt. Search teams were unable to locate Monbleau, despite a three-hour effort, said Sgt. Kevin Maxwell of the Mason Police Department on Monday. Additional search teams, including Fish and Game officers continued to look for the suspect the following day, but as of Monday evening Monbleau had not been found.

According to a press release sent out Saturday, Hutchins stopped a vehicle driven by Danielle Dickstein, 34, of Amherst around 8:40 p.m. near 80 Brookline Rd. The vehicle stopped in a driveway of a residence, according to Select Board member Charlie Moser who spoke with the Ledger-Transcript on Monday.

During the course of the stop, Hutchins attempted to arrest Monbleau for possession of crack cocaine, and the man allegedly got violent. Police say Monbleau struck Hutchins multiple times, and fought with him on the ground. He then took a heavy metal chair that was on the lawn next to the driveway, lifted it over his head and threw it at Hutchins, knocking him to the ground. It was during the struggle that Hutchins was injured, according to the release.

Police have issued a warrant for Monbleau’s arrest, charging him with multiple counts of simple assault and a felony charge of reckless conduct. Additional charges, including possession of drugs and felony destruction of evidence related to disposing of drug evidence, may also be forthcoming, said Maxwell.

Dickstein was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and crack cocaine. She was released on bail, according to Maxwell.

Moser said that he had been notified that Hutchins had been injured in the altercation on Friday night and transported by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Nashua, with a sprained ankle. He has been discharged, said Maxwell. Whether Hutchins will have to take leave will be determined after further medical assessments.

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