‘What did I do wrong?' NH teen arrested after parking in ‘predictive hot spot’ for crime
On October 20, Connor Deleire was sitting by himself in his parked 2000 Honda Accord on the north side of Merrimack Street near Union Street, part of an area deemed a “hot spot” by computer programs that predict where crime is likely to happen for the Manchester Police Department.
Officer Derek Cataldo spotted the teenager at 5:35pm. In order to determine if Deleire had a legitimate purpose for being there, he circled the block to park his squad car in a place where he could get a better view. After several minutes without provocation, Cataldo got out of his squadcar and walked up to the driver. Cataldo described Deleire as “physically shaking” as he handed over his ID.
Upon further questioning, Deleire “attempted to provide a legitimate reason for being in the area,” according to Lieutenant Brian O’Keefe, who relayed Cataldo’s account to the media. Cataldo was reportedly unconvinced of Deleire’s answers and ordered him out of the car. Deleire complied.
At this time, a second officer, Ryan Heile, arrived. Reports conflict on which of the two officers noticed Deleire’s holstered Beretta 9mm handgun, but regardless, one of the officers removed it and placed it inside Deleire’s vehicle. Police confirmed the gun was properly permitted and registered.
“Deleire grew agitated and stated he was not allowing a search of his person or property,” Lieutenant O’Keefe reported. “The officer advised him he was conducting a pat down search to ensure the safety of both officers. While doing so, he felt an object inside of his left front pocket that he believed to be a gun magazine.”
“Deleire began to pull away and forced his own hand inside of his pocket prompting the officer to forcefully pull his hand from his pocket. He pulled out several items to include the fully loaded gun magazine. The officer attempted to calm him down and again advised him that he was conducting the pat down search for his own safety.”
Deleire reportedly put the gun magazine and other items on the car’s roof. At this point, police allege he began “thrashing back and forth” and was placed under arrest. Eventually, Deleire was “transitioned to the ground” before being pepper sprayed and Tased by newly arriving backup officers. He was then booked and arrested on a resisting arrest charge before being released from jail on a $1,000 bond.
According to TheFreeThoughtProject.com, Connor Deleire’s family says he asked if he was being arrested but received no response. Besides the police report, there are a couple of online comments from people claiming to have been eye-witnesses to the arrest.
“This happened literally outside my window,” read a comment by Reddit user ahmenrah. “I went to the window for a smoke as two officers had him bent over the car trying to put handcuffs on him and he was asking them over and over what he had done wrong. They got tired of him not letting them put cuffs on him and put him on the sidewalk face down, trying to strong arm the cuffs on. Finally they call for backup and he is just trying to keep his one arm away from them, and asking over and over again ‘What did I do wrong? Just tell me what I did wrong!’”
“Suddenly my street was swarmed with cops, and one guy ran up like with a Taser in hand and zapped him while he was on the ground, he had like 5 guys holding him down. They got the cuffs on him, threw him in the paddy wagon. When I saw him get up he had that huge cut on his forehead, I assume because one of the cops was grinding his face into the ground with his knee. They ended up pulling a weapon out of his car, two prescription bottles (this area is known for drugs somewhat).”
The user said Deleire’s car was left at the scene and not towed, adding that Deleire “was not being overly violent from what I saw, just resisting arrest. Wasn’t even yelling, just kept repeating it.”
Deleire is due in court on November 24.
The Manchester Police Department has been conducting “Operation Granite Hammer” to tackle a heroin epidemic in “hot spot” areas like the one Deleire was parked in.