By ADAM DRAPCHO, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Police arrested a city man on Tuesday morning, alleging he assaulted a woman at his home and threatened to kill her if she attempted to leave. James Cunningham, 60, of 223 Weirs Boulevard, was taken into custody at about 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday morning, following a two-hour stand-off with police.
Laconia Police Capt. Matt Canfield said that the alleged victim, a woman in her 20s, called 911 at 7:49 a.m. on Tuesday and stated that that she had been assaulted several times during the night. Canfield said she told police that Cunningham had an array of weapons in the home, including knives, a sword and several firearms, including a shotgun.
Cunningham was known to police as a member of a gang, said Canfield.
Cunningham refused to leave the home when police first arrived, resulting in a stand-off situation that involved the activation of the Belknap Regional Special Operations Group. Laconia Fire Department was also on scene. Three nearby homes were evacuated, and traffic on Weirs Boulevard was rerouted onto White Oaks Road.
Canfield said that there was no evidence that the alleged victim was being physically restrained, yet said, "She was afraid to leave" due to threats of physical violence. "He said he'd slit her throat." The woman, in a room in the rear of the home, stayed on the phone with emergency dispatchers while police surveyed the home. When the situation seemed safe to do so, about a half-hour after police arrived, the woman climbed out of a window and into the protection of waiting officers.
While Cunningham was uncooperative with police, Canfield said that officers were able to contact Cunningham's attorney, who eventually persuaded Cunningham to exit his residence. However, Cunningham allegedly continued to resist attempts to arrest him, requiring police to use a Taser in order to arrest him.
Canfield said there was no evidence that Cunningham used any of the weapons in an illegal manner, though he confirmed that he had access to them.
Cunningham was charged with domestic violence simple assault, felony second degree assault – domestic violence, criminal threatening and resisting arrest. He is currently being held at Belknap County Jail.
James Patrick Cunningham was arrested on Tuesday morning after a two-hour stand-off with Laconia Police who were responding to a report of domestic violence. Weirs Boulevard was closed to traffic as Laconia Police and members of the Belknap Regional Special Operations Group surrounded the home where a 911 call originated. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)
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