Two troopers involved in violent arrest of suspect ‘relieved of duty’

Massachusetts State Police Colonel Richard McKeon called the actions of the officers involved in the arrest “disturbing” upon initial review.

Richard Simone of Worcester, Mass., is arraigned at Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua, NH, Thursday, May 12, 2016, following a high-speed police pursuit from Massachusetts to New Hampshire on Wednesday. Simone was taken into custody by local police on Wednesday, but Massachusetts state police, who were involved in the pursuit, said they'll review whether the force used on him during his arrest was appropriate. (Aram Boghosian/The Boston Globe via AP, Pool)
Richard Simone of Worcester, Massachusetts, is arraigned at Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Thursday. –Aram Boghosian / The Boston Globe

Two state troopers, one from Massachusetts and the other from New Hampshire, have been “relieved of duty” while their actions in the Wednesday arrest of a suspect are investigated.

Broadcast station helicopters captured the arrest of Richard Simone, 50, of Worcester, who led police on a chase from the Central Massachusetts town of Holden to Nashua, New Hampshire. Footage showed officers punching Simone, who was wanted on warrants for assault and larceny, after he appeared to surrender.

New Hampshire State Police Colonel Robert Quinn said during a press conference Thursday afternoon the trooper is not being paid and that the department is “cooperating fully” with the criminal investigation by the state’s attorney general’s office.

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“The men and women of the New Hampshire State Police have been, and will continue to be, held to the highest standards,” he said in a prepared statement, referring all other questions to the office of the attorney general.

“The unnecessary, unjustified use of force will not be tolerated by this agency,” he added.

Massachusetts State Police Colonel Richard McKeon called the actions of the officers involved in the arrest of Simone “disturbing” upon initial review in a statement Thursday and said he has ordered an internal affairs investigation into the actions of the agency’s personnel present at the arrest and the pursuit, which will take place separately from the New Hampshire attorney general’s criminal investigation.

“The goal of that internal investigation is to determine whether relevant policies, procedures, rules and regulations of our department – including those governing the use of force – were followed by our personnel,” he said. “If that investigation determines that departmental violations occurred, we will take appropriate and commensurate disciplinary action.”

While the investigation is underway, the trooper involved has been relieved of his duty pending a Friday hearing. McKeon said the result of the hearing could range from the trooper being placed on modified duty during the duration of the investigation to suspension.

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Neither New Hampshire nor Massachusetts state police have identified the troopers involved.

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