By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
BELMONT — Nearly four days after a town police officer fired his gun as a former local man allegedly fled from a traffic stop, the New Hampshire State Police have asked the U.S. Marshal Joint Fugitive Task Force for its assistance.
U.S. Marshal Jeff White confirmed Tuesday that police are looking for Hayden Moon, 24, formerly of Tilton, in connection with the traffic stop. Police have said that Moon does not present an immediate danger to the general public, but that anyone who knows of his whereabouts should contact police.
White said there is a warrant for Moon’s arrest for obstruction of government administration and reckless conduct.
Belmont Police Lt. Rich Mann said he requested the state Attorney General’s Office to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident and to determine why the, as yet, unnamed officer fired his gun during the encounter. He has declined to comment any further.
Lt. Scott Gilbert of the New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes Unit has released almost no details about the traffic stop except to say that the officer came upon Moon’s 2007 gray Toyota Camry at 1:30 a.m. Friday while it was stopped on South Road. He said the car is registered to Moon.
According to a representative with the state Judiciary call center, Moon was convicted of one count of possession of a controlled drug in Merrimack County Superior Court in 2013 and was also convicted of the same thing in Belknap County Superior Court in 2015.
Moon is facing one charge of being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon in Hillsborough County North after his arrest on Aug. 19. He posted bail and has a dispositional hearing scheduled for Nov. 14.
Moon’s car was found after someone notified the Loudon Police that they saw a similar car on Blake Road. State Police Detective Sgt. Brian Strong said the car has been impounded.
At some point during the encounter with the Belmont officer, Moon fled in his car and shots were fired. The officer was slightly injured during the incident and was treated at the scene by the Belmont Fire and Rescue Department for a minor leg injury.
Other news agencies have reported that Moon allegedly drove toward the officer; however, The Laconia Daily Sun has not been able to verify this with state police investigators.
As of Tuesday, police have not released the name of the officer involved in the shooting or his status with the Belmont Police. Gilbert said they are not releasing the officer’s name because the investigation into to shooting is ongoing.
Because the officer was treated by the Belmont Fire and Rescue, The Laconia Daily Sun sent the department a Right to Know request asking only for the name of the officer involved.
The request was denied by Belmont Fire Chief Ken Erickson because he said it would be a violation of the federal HIPAA laws that protect an individual’s health information. However, in 2012 Belknap County Judge Kenneth McHugh ruled in a similar case involving the Laconia Fire Department that the federal HIPAA law was passed “for the protection of certain heath information” and that logic does not extend to the release of someone’s name who used a government service.
The Belmont Police policy on the use of deadly force states that police are justified in using it to “defend them or another from what is reasonably believed to be the imminent use of, or actual use of deadly force.”
Deadly force can also be used “to stop a person whom the officer reasonably believes has just committed, or is committing, a felony involving the use of deadly force, and the suspect poses a significant threat to the officer or another through his immediate capability to continue the use of deadly force, unless apprehended without delay” and “that the officer has made reasonable attempts to advice the the person that he is a law enforcement officer attempting to affect an arrest, and has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is aware of these facts,” according to the department’s policy.
The Belmont use of force policy was reviewed and approved by Chief Mark Lewandoski in 2014.
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