Chaotic scene in Laconia as foot chase ends with tasering in front of victim's relatives; police say they confiscated heroin, cocaine & oxycodone after arrest
LACONIA – A local man who was zapped by police with a Taser twice Wednesday night is being held on $30,000 cash bail after his appearance by video in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division on Thursday.
Matthew Tusi, 30, of 9 Isabella St. faces three counts of possession of narcotics, one count of possession of a narcotic (oxycodone) with intent to sell, one count of disobeying an officer and one count of resisting arrest.
Police affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday said Tusi had two bags of brown heroin, two bags of cocaine, and 89 blue bills identified by poison control as oxycodone on him or with him at the time of his arrest.
Paperwork filed with the court indicates the brouhaha with Tusi began around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday when Sheriff Deputy E. Justin Blanchette drove toward the Sheriff's Department on County Drive to get something he had left in his office.
He said while headed north to his office he noticed a black Infinity in front of him that headed past County Drive. Blanchette said saw the same car on County Drive a short time later as it was pulling in to the parking lot of the Belknap County House of Corrections and thought it was "unusual."
He said he stopped to talk to the driver to see if he could be of assistance and Tusi allegedly told him he was going to the jail to post bail for a woman. Blanchette said he thought she had been sentenced and told Tusi he would check for him.
Blanchette's affidavits said Tusi swore at him and announced he would leave.
Blanchette said he told him to wait a second and he would check with the jail about the woman but Tusi said, "I'm out of here."
"The entire time he was reaching around the inside of the driver's side door and was staring right through me," wrote Blanchette noting he feared Tusi had a weapon so "I kept my distance."
Blanchette learned the woman had been sentenced and was not expecting anyone to bring her any money. He decided to follow the car, calling Laconia police for support.
Once Blanchette had a Laconia Police officer traveling behind him, he said he turned on his his lights to stop Tusi who was by then on Union Avenue, in front of Sacred Heart Church and not far from his home off Gilford Ave. He said Tusi continued slowly for about 25 feet and stopped but didn't put the car in park.
Blanchette said he ordered Tusi on his bullhorn to put the car in park and he complied.
And then, the officer reported, Tusi ran.
Blanchette pursued alleging Tusi kept swearing and placing his hand in his waist band, putting Blanchette in fear of a weapon so he drew his and ordered him to stop. Blanchette said Tusi yelled, "Bring more guns, bring more guns" so he deployed his Taser but said he didn't hit him squarely and his suspect kept running.
Tusi ran down a driveway next to a wooden stockade fence running perpendicular to Gilford Ave. and witnesses (including this reporter) heard a considerable amount of yelling before a second Taser shot was heard. Blanchette described the second shot fired from his electric stun gun as "more successful".
Tusi began screaming, "I can't walk. I can't walk" when police ordered him to get to his feet. He also yelled that he wanted them to call the state police and then hollered that he wanted an ambulance.
Multiple police officers, including an off-duty Gilford Police officer and an off-duty New York Police officer were standing around Tusi, who was wearing white sweatpants and a red long-sleeved T-shirt with a white front. He was handcuffed from behind and alternated between sitting and laying on the ground.
He continued to holler and at one point said he wanted to see his mother. Other onlookers, including his grandmother, kept screaming at police that Tusi didn't do anything, repeating the suspect's cry for medical attention. Police told him an ambulance was on the way.
About seven to 10 minutes later a Laconia ambulance arrived and Tusi was put on a lifting board and raised to a gurney.
As he was being wheeled to the ambulance, he continued to moan and cry but as he was being lifted into the emergency vehicle he began to struggle again. One of his relatives, identified by witnesses as his uncle, kept tying to tell Tusi to go in the ambulance and yelling at police for hurting him. He also kept telling Tusi not to say anything.
"We'll sort this out later," the uncle said to Tusi and other male relatives who had gathered by the rear of the ambulance.
Once the ambulance doors closed, Tusi, who is about 6-feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds, apparently began struggling and attendants could be seen through the windows trying to restrain him. His relatives kept telling police that the ambulance drivers were hurting him but nearest officer wasn't looking through the ambulance windows.
At his video arraignment in court yesterday, Tusi walked in to the video room and didn't appear to have any injuries. Wearing the same red shirt with the white front, he made the sign of the cross as he waited for Judge Jim Carroll to decide on whether he should be held on $20,000 cash only bail. Carroll decided on $30,000.