MeredithMay2017

Thrill ride draws police attention

02-28 snowmobile skier 1 02-28 snowmobile skier 2

These screenshots are from a YouTube video showing the snowmobile pulling a person on water skis through the Weirs Channel.

State officials are not amused by ‘skimmer’ pulling water skier

By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — A video of a snowmobile pulling a skier across the open water of Weir Channel was popular on social media Monday, but New Hampshire Fish and Game Col. Kevin Jordan was not amused.

"It's insane," he said. "There are no safety measures you can take to prepare yourself for 30-degree water. What angers me is that it is one thing to disregard your own safety, but stunts like that put others in danger. When they fall, I've got to put at risk guys with families to save them."

Jordan said no arrests had been made by Monday afternoon in the Saturday stunt but those involved broke a law and could be subject to a fine of more than $500.

Although snowmobiles are heavy, some can skim across the surface of the water if they going fast enough, if they are well balanced, if they don't slow, if they don't hit anything and if conditions are just right.

In the video, which can be seen at https://tinyurl.com/hzt2z6t, the snowmobile can be seen going across ice, then on the water while pulling a person who is seen wearing water skis and then kicking them off and speeding along barefoot.

C.J. Gulbicki has seen people skim snowmobiles over open water before, but on Saturday he couldn't resist shooting some images with his cell phone to record what was taking place in the channel.

"There are times when people will get in the channel with a snowmobile, but not pulling a skier, never mind a barefoot skier," he said.

He said those involved seemed prepared and included a team with someone in a kayak and a diver. They were wearing life jackets and wet suits.

Gulbicki said the ride lasted about a mile. It ended when the snowmobile returned to the ice. The skier dropped into knee-deep water, where people were ready to recover him.

Jordan said there are multiple videos of the incident, which may help officers in finding those involved.

Earlier this month, three people died when their snowmobiles broke through ice on Lake Winnipesaukee.

"We just got through a weekend with three fatalities, and these guys who pulled Saturday's stunt think they can do it because they have a wet suit on," Jordan said, expressing disbelief.

"Those machines are not made to go on water. If I've seen anything dumber, I don't know when. It's mind-boggling that adults are doing it. I can promise you they will be prosecuted."

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Alton officer fires shots

Few details released about what happened at traffic stop

By ROGER AMSDEN, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN

ALTON — Few details have yet been made public of an officer-involved shooting investigation which the New Hampshire State Police Major Crime Unit is conducting of an incident Saturday night on Route 140.

Lt. Scott Gilbert, commander Major Crime Unit, said the incident took place along the roadway on NH Route 140 in the area of Youngstown Road. State police were called to the scene at about 8 p.m.
The involved officer was investigating the scene of an alleged DWI motor vehicle crash when the shooting occurred. Neither the officer nor the other party was injured at that time as a result of this shooting.

Gilbert said that no names are being released at this time as the investigation is still ongoing.
State Police are currently looking to speak with and identify an unknown man who was driving a U-Haul truck along Route 140 on this same date and time and might have witnessed this incident. That person is encouraged to call the State Police Major Crime Unit and speak with Detective Sgt. Justin Rowe at 603-223-8849.

 

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Video is released of Alton man being arrested at meeting

02-28 Jeffrey Clay arrest on 2-22

Jeffrey Clay is handcuffed by police at the Feb. 22 meeting of Alton's Board of Selectmen. (Screen shot)

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

ALTON — "Better think," Jeffrey Clay told the selectmen last week. "If you act inappropriately, I'm going to sue you again. I'm telling you right up front," he continued, "I will win."

Moments later, the police, at the selectboard's request, removed Clay from the Feb. 22 meeting and charged him with disorderly conduct and resting arrest.

In challenging the board, Clay appeared to welcome the prospect of another round of litigation and handsome cash settlement. Two years ago, the Alton Board of Selectmen had Clay removed from a meeting after making statements the selectmen claimed amounted to "character assassination." He was removed and charged with disorderly conduct. When the case reached the court, Judge James Carroll of the Fourth Circuit Court, Laconia Division, dismissed the charge, which he called "pure censorship." Afterward, Clay filed suit at the U.S. District Court alleging the town violated his constitutional right to freedom of speech and was awarded $42,500 when the case was settled.

Clay was released on personal recognizance and will be arraigned in May.

The video of the most recent meeting of the Board of Selectmen records Clay openly flouting the rules of procedure and defying several warnings from the chairman prior to being removed from the town hall in handcuffs.

Cydney Johnson, who chairs the board, opened the first of two public input sessions, by explaining to Clay that he would be allotted three minutes to speak and must confine his remarks to items posted on the agenda.

"I think that you folks, without a doubt, are the most reprehensible, incompetent collection of Board of Selectmen I've ever known," Clay began.

"Do you have anything to speak to on the agenda items?" Johnson asked.

When Clay continued to speak without referring to the agenda, she said "This is your first warning, Mr. Clay. Is there something on the agenda you wish to speak to? I will give you two more warnings and I will ask you to be removed."

"That's what I'm talking about," Clay said. "I'm talking about you being incompetent, reckless, reckless, careless." Johnson moved to recess the meeting as "Mr. Clay is impeding our ability to continue this meeting."

The selectmen left the room and Clay remained at the table. As Jim Sesslet, the town attorney, walked past, Clay said "More genius advice from the genius attorney?"

Turning toward the back of the room, where Police Chef Ryan Heath and an officer were standing, he raised his hands in the air and twice asked "How many times have you been sued already?"

As the chief appeared to speak with Sessler, he asked, "Are you going to listen to this nitwit?"

The officer approached Clay, saying he was being removed from the meeting. Johnson told him she had not asked for him to be removed. She explained that he would be warned twice more and if he persisted she would request assistance from the police. Clay again raised his hands "I don't want you to shoot me," then, turning to chief he said "Keep you gun in your holster, chief. I'm counting on you to protect me if he tries to shoot me. Doe he have a billy club with him tonight?"

Slapping his hand and drumming his fingers on the table, Clay again taunted Sessler. "How much bad advice have you given the town over the years? Millions? Hundreds of thousands, anyway, right? Do you see Alton as a cash cow and you just keeping sucking on the teat?"

Alluding to the prior litigation, Clay asked, "Who would have thought we'd be $42,000 plus attorney's fees?" Then he warned "I'm asking you to think before you make a mistake again tonight that ends up costing everything a lot more money. Look at you," he continued. "You can't wait to throw the cuffs on me. Gonna kick me down the stairs? Beat me up, or what?" As Johnson readied to reconvene the meeting Clay asked, "Didn't you lose enough money the last when you embarrassed the town by having me arrested?"

When the meeting resumed, Johnson told Clay to confine his remarks to the items on the agenda and reminded him that he had been warned.

"I'm not taking any warnings from you," Clay replied. "You act in any manner you want. You go ahead any make any mistakes you want."

With that Johnson asked Clay to leave the meeting.

"No," he said flatly, insisting that he be allowed to speak for allotted three minutes.

Johnson asked the police to remove Clay.

As the officer approached, Clay continued to insist he be allowed to speak and refused to leave the table.

"Am I under arrest, are you arresting me?" he asked the officer several times. Told he was being detained, he said he would not be detained. "I want you to arrest me," he said and, as he was handcuffed, remarked, "OK, good." Then, asking if the camera and microphones were on, declared "This is the most corrupt town in the world."

"I can't wait to see Judge Carroll again on this one, folks, " Clay said as police led him from the room.

You can view a video of the meeting at: http://www.alton.nh.gov/video/board-selectmen-meeting-february-22-2017.

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