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Westerly man involved in courthouse fracas


WAKEFIELD — A Westerly man who was scheduled to appear in 4th Division District Court on a routine matter Friday found his day ending quite differently: He was reportedly grabbed by police in the courthouse parking lot after an incident going through the entry’s scanning device.

Bruce M. Howe, 29, of 226 Westerly Bradford Road, Bradford, had been charged by Westerly police with driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, first offense, blood-alcohol level unknown, and refusal to submit to a chemical test, refusal to submit to a chemical test to determine intoxication, and driving with a suspended license.

Witnesses said when Howe went through the scanner and placed his items in the plastic containers provided to visitors, he apparently made a grab to retrieve something and a tug-of-war with a sheriff ensued, bringing more sheriffs and Rhode Island State Police, who were in the courtroom on other matters. It is not known what Howe was allegedly trying to avoid being seen.

He was handcuffed and brought to a holding cell to await his Westerly arraignment on the DUI charges. Howe pleaded not guilty on those charges and was released on a promise to appear on Feb. 14. He was expected to face additional Rhode Island State Police charges related to the courthouse incident.



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