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Peterborough police Taser suspect charged with vehicle theft in Jaffrey

Peterborough police used a Taser to subdue a Portsmouth man Saturday night after he crashed a car at the Granite Street/Route 101 intersection and ran off when police tried to arrest him. The car he’d been driving had been reported stolen in Jaffrey earlier that day, and now Antwun Whitney, 25, is facing multiple charges, including a felony count of receiving stolen property.

Whitney faces 11 counts of criminal trespass for allegedly rummaging through 11 cars on Charlonne Street in Jaffrey on late Friday and early Saturday, according to Jaffrey Police records. He was also charged with one count of theft by unauthorized taking for reportedly stealing a 2008 Nissan Versa from the same Jaffrey neighborhood on Saturday.

Peterborough Police also charged Whitney with one count of theft by unauthorized taking, as well as resisting arrest and driving after suspension, three counts of resisting arrest and three counts of assault.

Whitney was held in lieu of $25,000 cash bail at the Hillsborough County Jail through the weekend. At an arraignment at the 8th Circuit Court in Jaffrey on Monday, Justice L. Phillips Runyon III ordered Whitney’s $25,000 cash bail raised to $50,000 cash bail. A probable cause hearing was scheduled for today at the 8th Circuit Court in Jaffrey.

Shortly before 11 p.m. on Friday, Jaffrey police responded to Charlonne Street to investigate four cars that victims told police had been rummaged through, according to a supporting affidavit for Whitney’s arrest prepared by Jaffrey Det. Joseph Hileman. “All the cars had items moved around in them and/or dumped out from the glove box. All vehicles were unlocked,” Hileman wrote.

Two vehicles had items stolen from them between 7 and 11 p.m., according to Jaffrey Police records. Among the missing items are a Verizon LG cell phone, a Bridgeport, Conn., canine police patch, a commemorative police coin and two police business cards.

Jaffrey Police responded to Charlonne Street for a second time at approximately 5 a.m. on Saturday to investigate seven more vehicles, where victims said the interiors had been searched. Police also learned that a dark blue 2008 Nissan Versa owned by a Jaffrey resident was missing.

“The officers determined that the vehicle was left unlocked with the keys in the car,” Hileman wrote in the affidavit.

Late Saturday evening, Jaffrey police responded to Peterborough after learning that the stolen vehicle had just been involved in a single-car crash at the intersection of Granite Street and Route 101.

According to Peterborough Police Capt. Ernie Belletete, a Nissan Versa had gone off the road and the driver, later identified as Whitney, was on the ground being treated by ambulance workers when two Peterborough officers, Sgt. Vint Boggis and Sgt. Richard Nelson, arrived at the accident scene at about 11:30 p.m.

Belletete said Nelson learned that the Nissan had been reported stolen earlier that day in Jaffrey.

“When Sgt. Nelson confronted Whitney, he took off,” Belletete said. “Nelson and Sgt. Boggis chased him down. He resisted arrest and he was Tased three times in an attempt to maintain control.”

Belletete said Whitney appeared to be intoxicated, which may have been why he resisted so strongly.

Whitney also resisted arrest again after he was taken to the Peterborough Police Station, according to Belletete. He allegedly attacked Boggis and Nelson, slightly injuring both men before he was subdued for a second time.

Belletete said the two sergeants were the only Peterborough officers on duty at the time, although Jaffrey Police helped when they arrived. After the incident at the Peterborough station, Whitney was taken to Monadnock Community Hospital for treatment. Boggis and Nelson were also treated at the hospital for minor injuries and then released. Belletete said their injuries were not serious.

Whitney was released to Hillsborough Country Sheriff’s deputies at the hospital, Belletete said, and he was taken to Valley Street Jail in Manchester.

Jaffrey Police Chief Bill Oswalt told the Ledger-Transcript on Tuesday that police believe Whitney acted alone.

“It is my understanding that he grew up in this area,” Oswalt said of Whitney’s connections to the Monadnock region.

Oswalt did not know if any of the items stolen from two cars on Friday night in Jaffrey had been recovered by police.

A motive in the case is unclear, he said.

According to published reports, Durham police arrested Whitney in late January on similar charges. He faces one count of aggravated DWI, operating after suspension and disorderly conduct in that town.

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea. Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or danderson@ledgertranscript.com. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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