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January 21, 2014

Seabrook to investigate brutality incident shown on video

(Continued)

According to police reports of Bergeron’s arrest, he is described as uncooperative, verbally abusive, combative and hostile to police, as well as “an emotional roller coaster” during his detainment at the police station.

At the time, Laurent and Richardson were veteran officers, although Dietenhofer had been with the police department for less than six months, according to Town Manager Bill Manzi.

The request for the video footage of Bergeron’s arrest was made prior to Bergeron’s court appearance on the charges against him and was released prior to his court appearance, Manzi said.

Questions as to who prepared the video and who may have seen it prior to its release were not answered by Manzi, who stated that information is currently under investigation by the attorney general.

Quickly after the video was made public, Richardson, Laurent and Dietenhofer were placed on paid administrative leave, where they remain, Manzi said yesterday. No other officers have been suspended since the scandal broke.

According to Seabrook personnel records, although now-retired Patrick Manthorn was the police chief at the time of the incident, he was on sick leave from mid-July to Nov. 20, 2009. His sick leave status at the time means that Bitomske, who had been deputy chief at the time, was acting police chief in his absence.

The department’s duty roster indicates that then-Sgt. John Wasson was shift commander at the time of the Nov. 11, 2009, incident. Wasson currently holds the rank of lieutenant.

At the time, Barry Brenner was Seabrook’s town manager and selectmen were Robert Moore, Brendan Kelly and Aboul Khan.

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