LACONIA — A local resident is facing felony charges of first-degree assault with a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm, as well as resisting arrest and a parole violation, following a standoff with police on Monday evening.
Police used tear gas and a robot to persuade Nicholas Perriera, 32, to surrender, Police Chief Matt Canfield said.
Perriera allegedly pointed a gun at another man following a verbal altercation in the vicinity of the Laconia Public Library and Laconia Clinic. Canfield said that, according to the victim, Perriera approached him wearing a ski mask and, after an argument, Perriera pointed a gun at him and appeared to pull the trigger, but the weapon did not fire. Perriera then allegedly pistol-whipped the victim in the head, causing minor lacerations.
When the victim reported the assault to police, officers searched the area and one of them saw Perriera running into a Dixon Street residence. Police set up a perimeter around the building, evacuating the immediate apartments and other select locations while attempting to get Perriera to surrender.
Having identified the suspect, police drafted an arrest warrant and a search warrant for the apartment.
“We made multiple attempts to call him out on the PA system, and also called his cell number,” Canfield said, but police got no response.
Laconia police then called in the Belknap Regional Special Operations Group to continue the attempt to call Perriera out. When they continued to get no response, they fired a 40mm Ferret round containing a chemical agent in an attempt to flush him out. That also proved to be unsuccessful, so the team used a battering ram to breach the front door and attempt to make contact with Perriera.
Still getting no response, officers sent a robot into the apartment and they located him hiding in a cabinet. Officers commanded him to show his hands and, at that point Perriera surrendered without incident, Canfield said.
Police are continuing their investigation into the incident. Canfield said the victim and Perriera were acquaintances, but police are not sure of the relationship, and are looking into the nature of the conflict.