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Wakefield man faces charges after standoff with police


July 22, 2010
WAKEFIELD — A Wakefield man is facing a felony charge for allegedly brandishing a BB gun during a standoff with police on Lovell Lake Road last month. The police chief says his officers showed tremendous self-control by declining to use deadly force.

William Hooper, 31, of Wakefield, faces a felony charge of criminal threatening and a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest for his alleged actions on the afternoon of June 24. Hooper has since been released on $5,000 cash bail.

Wakefield Police Chief Ken Fifield said he was proud of the way his officers conducted themselves during the standoff.

"They took great restraint in not shooting him," said Fifield. "I believe they would have been justified in shooting him but very fortunately they didn't."

From any distance, the BB gun would have looked just like a pistol, said the chief. During the standoff, Hooper was on his porch, which was about one story above the officers. Hooper waived the BB gun in the general direction of the officers

At around 1:24 p.m., that day, Officer Michael Fenton responded to a report that Hooper was acting "out of control" at his home at 156 Lovell Lake Road. The caller told dispatchers that several officers would be required.

Upon Fenton's arrival, Hooper began yelling and screaming for the officer to leave him alone. At the time, Hooper was clutching a can of beer, police documents state.

'If you don't leave my property, I will defend it at all costs,' a police affidavit quotes Hooper as saying.

At that point, Hooper went back in the home and other law enforcement officers arrived. Wakefield Police Department sent three additional officers and Carroll County Sheriff's Office sent a deputy.

Then, Hooper emerged from the home and walked out onto the porch with a black gun — later determined to be a Powerline BB gun. Officers demanded that he drop it but he refused while insisting it was empty. Eventually, Hooper threw the BB gun on the ground and ran into the house.

Police gave chase, but Hooper used his 150-pound body to brace the door, again bringing police to a standstill. The moment Hooper stopped to rest, officers gained entry and attempted to subdue him, state police documents. When Hooper continued to struggle, Officer Michael Joy used his Taser to stun him.

Once Hooper was under control, officers transported him to Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro for a mental health evaluation. Hooper was still acting aggressively, so he had to be taken to Carroll County House of Corrections in Ossipee, the police affidavit states.

The felony charge has been bound over to Carroll County Superior Court in Ossipee.

Hooper's attorney, Erland McLetchie, of McLetchie Law, of Ossipee, declined comment for this story.

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