Police taze man after mug shot mayhem
By ERIC FRANCIS
CORRESPONDENT | December 27,2012
ERIC FRANCIS PHOTO
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WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A Springfield man was in court with his arm in a sling on Christmas Eve after he was tazed at the police station the night before.
Springfield officers said the trouble began when Steven Lapre, 33, refused to take off his glasses for a mug shot and minutes later got into a protracted scuffle with police inside a holding cell. Injuries suffered in that fight ultimately sent both Lapre and officer Daniel Deslauriers to the Springfield Hospital emergency room for treatment.
Police had been searching for Lapre since early this month after a warrant was issued for his arrest in connection with four charges of domestic assault, violation of an abuse prevention order and violation of court-ordered conditions of pre-trial release for an incident in which he allegedly hit one of his young children in November.
Family members had suggested to police that Lapre might be in the New York area but on Sunday evening officers decided to check his residence on Wall Street and they discovered him hiding underneath a sheet on his bedroom floor.
Detective Allison Novasel wrote in an affidavit filed with the court that as she was leaving the apartment with Lapre in custody his wife told her that Lapre had been staying there for a couple of days and she said that he’d threatened to kill her if she called police on him.
Novasel said that once she was back at the police station and had taken Lapre to the Processing Room she asked him to remove his glasses so she could take a mug shot. “Steven then began to argue with me, stating that he had never done that before,” Novasel wrote.
Novasel wrote that Lapre allegedly “would not follow any commands” and began walking back towards the holding cell at which point she said she and Officer Deslauriers ended up pinning him to a wall, “all the while giving strong loud verbal commands” before placing Lapre in the cell.
A short time later Novasel said dispatchers told them that Lapre had apparently covered up the camera in the cell so they couldn’t see inside. The pair went back to the cell in order to handcuff Lapre and remove the obstruction but “a struggle ensued,” according to Novasel, who said that Lapre seized hold of her thumb and twisted it to the point she ended up fighting him on tiptoes, “as a natural body reaction in an attempt to relieve the pain and pressure I was suffering.”
“While Steven was being taken to the ground, Officer Deslauriers collided with a file cabinet and the floor and Steven landed on top of him,” Novasel wrote, adding that Deslauriers hurt his head, back and knee during that fall.
Novasel said she and Deslauriers were “finally able” to get Lapre off of the prone officer and at that point Deslauriers tazed Lapre and Lapre was handcuffed.
Afterwards Lapre began complaining of shoulder pain and the Springfield Ambulance crew called in to evaluate him recommended he be taken to the hospital for treatment.
“While Steven was in my cruiser waiting to be transported to the ER he apologized to me several times for his actions,” Novasel wrote.
During his court appearance on Monday, Lapre pleaded innocent to the two felonies and two misdemeanors outstanding from November and to three new charges, a felony count of obstructing justice for allegedly threatening to kill Heather Lapre if she called police and two misdemeanor counts of simple assault on police officers.
Judge Robert Gerety set bail for Lapre at a total of $25,000 on all the outstanding charges.