N.H. officer stabbed; situation escalates into "suicide by cop" scenario

Editor's Note — In light this would-be "suicide by cop" incident, we felt it crucial to remind you of 15 indicators that can signal an SbC situation and to share some additional insight into the phenomenon that can have a tremendous impact on your safety and the outcome of the encounter. Read them here.

New Hampshire Union Leader Staff

MILFORD, N.H.  – One police officer was punched and another was sliced with a knife in separate struggles with a Milford man Saturday night, authorities said.

Police say Dadley assaulted officers in two towns before being taken into custody. First, authorities said, he punched in the face an Amherst policeman who pulled him over on suspicion of drunken driving.

Later, they said, Dadley swung a knife at officers in Milford who tried to put him in handcuffs. Milford police Officer Christopher Blastos was cut in the forearm.

Frederick G. Douglas, the Milford police chief, saw similarities between Saturday's incidents and recent police slayings in Manchester and Franconia.

"It's hard to predict what people are going to do when police officers try to take them into custody," Douglas said. "A perfect example is what happened up north (in Franconia) and what happened (in Manchester) last October."

Blastos was treated at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua. He was released later Saturday night, the chief said.

Dadley also received treatment at the hospital, according to police, although Douglas said he was unaware of any injuries suffered.

Dadley was being held at the Valley Street jail in Manchester. Bail was set at $300,000 cash only.

Witnesses at the Woodland Heights apartment complex said as many as seven police cruisers swarmed a building there about 10:30 p.m. Saturday. One resident, Di Wade, said officers had their guns drawn as they waited for the suspect to come outside.

Wade said she heard the suspect cry out to the officers: "Shoot me! Shoot me!"

"I've never seen anything like it in my life," Wade said.

Dadley has been accused of assaulting police officers before. His record includes a conviction for assaulting an officer in Merrimack, Douglas said.

Less than two months ago, the chief said, Dadley assaulted a Milford police officer who tried to have his car towed. As of this past weekend, he said, Dadley was out on bail and awaiting trial on several charges, including simple assault and two counts of criminal mischief.

The trouble on Saturday started when an unidentified Amherst police officer pulled Dadley over for crossing a yellow line, Police Chief Peter A. Lyon said.

The officer was trying to arrest Dadley on a charge of driving while intoxicated when Dadley punched him in the face, the chief said. Dadley then fled the scene, he said.

Milford patrolmen were not yet aware of that assault when an officer in that town tried to pull him over for alleged speeding and driving with a flat tire, Chief Douglas said.

The pursuit led to an apartment in Woodland Heights. Blastos was one of the backup officers on scene, Douglas said.

Douglas described Blastos as a "seasoned officer." He is well-respected in the department, the chief said.

Milford police charged Dadley with disobeying a police officer, simple assault, first-degree assault, resisting arrest, criminal mischief and default on breach-of-bail conditions.

Amherst police charged him with aggravated DWI, resisting arrest, simple assault, criminal mischief and a yellow-line violation.

Copyright 2007 New Hampshire Union Leader

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