BY JULIE MANGANIS
---- — SALEM — A man who police say had to be pulled off his former girlfriend after an officer found him strangling the woman in a Salem shopping center parking lot Saturday evening is being held without bail.
Dana Turgeon, 41, of 573 Lowell St., Peabody, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment yesterday in Salem District Court to a string of charges, including attempted murder, kidnapping, assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a police officer, drunken driving, and resisting arrest.
Patrolman Sean Andrus suffered a cut to his face and damage to his uniform during a violent struggle with Turgeon, according to a police report.
Police were called to the parking lot outside The Home Depot on Traders Way shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday, police said. Andrus was the first to arrive and saw Turgeon standing over the woman with his hands on her throat, according to his report.
The officer yelled at Turgeon to stop, but, police said, Turgeon ignored his orders, leading Andrus to pull Turgeon off the woman, who began gasping for breath.
As Andrus tried to put Turgeon in handcuffs, Turgeon broke free and swung at the officer, hitting him in the face, according to the report.
Andrus said Turgeon repeatedly tried to punch and bite him as he was trying to put him in handcuffs.
Even a blow from the officer’s baton to Turgeon’s leg didn’t work to subdue him, police said.
A second officer, Patrolman Ryan Davis, arrived with his police dog and tried to help subdue Turgeon by using pepper spray. But Turgeon kept fighting, police said. At one point, Turgeon tried to gouge Andrus in the eye, but missed, leaving a cut on the officer’s lip from his fingernail, according to the report.
The woman told police that she and Turgeon, her former boyfriend, had been at his brother’s house in Lynn drinking when Turgeon became belligerent and insulting.
The woman told them she was leaving. Turgeon seemed to calm down and then offered to drive her to a bus stop, she said.
But once inside his Chevy Silverado truck, the woman told police, Turgeon became violent, at one point wrapping the seat belt around her neck.
He also told her that he knew she wanted to call police but that he “wasn’t going to let that happen,” according to the police report. He also took her glasses, leaving her unable to see where she was going, she said.
The woman began pounding on the window and screaming, hoping that another driver would call 911.
More than three hours after the arrest, when Turgeon had calmed down enough to be booked, he was given a Breathalyzer test, which showed a blood alcohol level of 0.14, nearly twice the legal limit.
Prosecutor Lars Trautman filed a motion seeking to have Turgeon held without bail as a danger for at least 90 days. The probation department also asked that he be held in custody until a violation hearing for an earlier case.
Judge Michael Lauranzano granted both requests and scheduled a hearing for March 11.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.