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    Westerly man accused in court disturbance charged

    WAKEFIELD — A Westerly man who allegedly caused a disturbance involving Washington County Courthouse sheriffs and other state police personnel Friday, faces three new charges as the result of an altercation at the check-in scanner.

    Bruce M. Howe, 29, of 226 Westerly Bradford Road, Bradford, is charged by Rhode Island State Police with disorderly conduct; obstructing an officer in execution of duty; and resisting arrest.

    According to state police at the Hope Valley barracks, Howe placed his items in a basket to go through the scanning setup, but as Howe himself walked through the device, an alarm sounded. According to procedure, police used a detecting wand device to scan Howe. The device sounded an alarm and, according to police, Howe quickly picked up what appeared to be a pack of cigarettes and “squeezed” them closed. When told to put them down he turned and ran out of the courthouse, state police said.

    He was arrested in the parking lot. The cigarette package had been disposed of, police said, and there was no indication of what was inside.

    Howe was handcuffed and brought to a holding cell to await his Westerly arraignment on driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs charges. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was scheduled a Feb. 14 pretrial hearing on the Westerly DUI case.

    Howe was then transported to the Hope Valley barracks where he was processed and later returned to 4th Division Court for arraignment on the new charges.

    — A.J. Algier



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