Police provide court with details of downtown heroin bust; Laconia man held on $25k cash bail

LACONIA — The man arrested by a sheriff's deputy Tuesday afternoon in the municipal parking lot between Main and Pleasant Streets had been disarmed by the arresting officer before he fought and then tried to flee.

Police affidavits reported Joseph D. Morrissette, 23, of 205 Court Street was spotted leaning into the rear passenger side of motor vehicle that had partially obstructed the Main Street entrance to the parking lot. There was a male driving and a woman sitting in the passenger seat.

It was incorrectly reported in Tuesday's paper that he had been a passenger in the car.

Following his video appearance yesterday in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, Judge Jim Carroll ordered Morrissette held on $25,000 cash-only bail. He is charged with two counts of possession of narcotics with intent to sell them, two counts of possession of narcotics, one count of resisting arrest and one count of simple assault.

At the time of his arrest, Morrissette was on personal recognizance bail for alleged previous drug activity in April.

Affidavits obtained from the court yesterday said Deputy E. Justin Blanchette had arrested Morrissette before Tuesday's incident for drug possession and that he had seen pictures on Morrissette's phone of him holding a gun.

Police also said Blanchette had gotten information from a detective from the Laconia Police Department about an alleged prior heroin sale.

Blanchette said when he saw the awkwardly parked car, he approached and asked the driver what was happening. He said the driver seemed nervous and Morrissette answered the question, telling Blanchette he was "just getting a hair cut."

Blanchette said he saw a knife in Morrissette's front pants pocket and held onto Morrisette's hand while he retrieved it from him and put it on the roof of the parked car.

He said the driver of the car kept looking around so Blanchette asked him to shut off the car while he figured out what was happening.

Affidavits said the driver shut off the car and immediately restarted it — telling Blanchette he was going to park in the parking lot. Instead he drove quickly down Main Street.

Blanchette said he grabbed Morrissette's arm and he "tensed up and started to pull away." Concerned that he had another weapon, Blanchette said he told him he wanted to check him for more weapons.

He said Morrissette pulled away and Blanchette showed him his canister of pepper spray and warned him to cooperate. He said when Morrissette pulled away again he sprayed him in the face.

Morrissette began running and Blanchette said he fell "several times" at one point pulling off his shirt to get away from Blanchette who had grabbed it.

The two fought on their feet moving about 50 feet around the parking lot during which time Blanchette deployed his Taser stun gun twice. Affidavits said once Morrissette was down, he elbowed Blanchette in the face and cut his chin.

A search showed Morrissette had four bags of brown powder on him that tested positive for heroin and four bags of while powder that tested positive for cocaine. Morrissette also allegedly had $1,522 in cash, a digital scale, and "hundreds of small stamp bags used for packaging."