Police say they stopped Laconia man while he was burning wife's belongings in the back yard

LACONIA — Police used an electronic stun gun and pepper spray to defuse a Gale Avenue man who was allegedly trying to burn his estranged wife's belongings in fire pit behind their home yesterday afternoon.

John W. Swett, 53, of 53 Gale Ave. is charged with one count of criminal mischief, one count of disorderly conduct, one count of resisting arrest, two counts of simple assault (both on police officers) and one count of obstructing government administration.

Police said they were called to the home by Swett's wife who reported she had been talking with him on the cell phone and he told her he was going to burn all her things.

When police arrived, the report Swett was burning what appeared to be items belonging to his wife.

When Officer Kevin Shortt confronted Swett he allegedly got angrier. When Sgt. Dennis Ashley and Officer Kendra Neri arrived he stormed into his house.

After Ashley got a garden hose that was nearby and began dousing the fire, Swett allegedly continued being verbally combative and turned off the hose. He returned to his house.

As Ashley went to turn back on the water, Swett allegedly rushed toward him and when Neri tried to stop him he allegedly grabbed her arm and body.

Ashley zapped him with his stun gun and Shortt placed him in handcuffs who took him from the property to wait for an ambulance.

Swett was able to get one of his hands free from the cuffs and began fighting with Shortt. When the two went to the ground, Ashley deployed his pepper spray to get control of Swett.

He was treated for minor injuries, including the removal of Taser prongs from his body, and exposure to oleo-resin capsicum — the actual name of what is referred to a pepper spray.

About four hours later, firefighters and police went to the home to completely extinguish the smoldering fire and to stand by while the victim removed her things from the home.

Swett refused bail and will appear in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division this morning.

Ashley said neither Shortt nor Neri was injured.