Drug House

Police vehicles block off a section of Baldwin Street where a man had barricaded himself inside the house with the boarded-up windows, as shown in this photo posted on social media. The man was ultimately taken into custody and is being held in the Belknap County Jail.

LACONIA — A man is being held in custody after he barricaded himself inside an abandoned house in the South End Wednesday afternoon.

Police arrested Nicholas Dawes, 30, no fixed address, and charged him with criminal trespass, criminal mischief, and resisting arrest — all misdemeanors.

Dawes was ordered held in preventive detention at the Belknap County Jail after his arraignment Thursday, city prosecutor James Sawyer said.

The judge ordered preventive detention after Sawyer told the judge about the number of cases Dawes has pending against him, according to Sawyer.

Police were called to the house at 55 Cottage Street about 1:20 p.m. after a neighbor saw a man pull plywood sheeting from a window of the boarded-up house and go inside.

When police arrived, the man was on the second floor of the building and refused to come out or talk with officers, Police Chief Matt Canfield said Thursday.

Police were in the process of getting an arrest warrant when the man started breaking a window. That prompted police to force their way into the house. Police had a hard time getting inside the house because of the jumble of furniture blocking the hallways and stairway. Dawes was found crouched behind a bunch of bed frames in an upstairs room, Canfield said.

He refused bail Wednesday and appeared in court Thursday morning. A bail hearing will be scheduled, Sawyer said.

The house, at the corner of Cottage and Baldwin streets, has been boarded up since last fall after a raid on the premises last October. The property is currently in probate, according to City Planning and Code Enforcement Director Dean Trefethen.

At the time of last fall’s raid, police took 15 people into custody, arrested six of them, and found drugs and drug paraphernalia inside the residence. The house had been under surveillance for a number of months before the raid occurred.

Laconia police arrested Dawes in July on charges of criminal mischief and criminal trespass, as well as on multiple bench warrants.

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