OSSIPEE — A man accused of dragging a state trooper and leading police on a chase that required spike strips to be deployed was ordered last week to be held on $3,000 cash by a Carroll County Superior Court judge.
Patrick McManus, 32, formerly of Ossipee, faces a slew of charges stemming from a Jan. 6 traffic stop.
He was charged with felony reckless conduct, misdemeanor transportation of drugs in a motor vehicle, drug possession, resisting arrest and disobeying an officer.
McManus also was charged with violation level charges of misuse/failure to display plates, operating an uninspected vehicle, reckless driving and failure to obey a stop sign.
McManus appeared before Carroll County Superior Court Judge Amy Ignatius on Jan. 7 for waiver of arraignment and a bail hearing. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
After hearing from Assistant County Attorney Matt Conley and Public Defender Amy Ashworth, Ignatius ordered McManus held without bail pending another bail hearing set for Jan. 31
At that hearing last Thursday, McManus was before Judge Brian Tucker. On the stand was Thomas Bednar, the state trooper whom McManus allegedly dragged.
Tucker ordered McManus held on $3,000 cash but with the possibility of converting to personal recognizance if he gets into a treatment program after a hearing.
Conley had asked that McManus be held without bail because his alleged conduct was so dangerous. Conley said it was lucky the reported incident happened when there was no traffic.
"This was a chase that didn't easily come to an end," said Conley, who later added that McManus' criminal record included violation of probation and disobeying a police officer.
Tucker said for the purposes of bail, flight risk was the larger issue.
"There is nothing in your background that's suggesting going forward between now and your trial you are going to present a danger to other people," the judge told McManus.
"The risk seems to be is you won't appear in court based on your flight and conduct that you engaged in, in fleeing. That shows you have a strong interest in avoiding apprehension and subsequent prosecution."
Ashworth said McManus was in Ossipee to visit his parents during Christmas time. She said McManus was living in Lempster and was taking care of an older woman who lives off the grid.
She said he has struggled with substance abuse and has benefited from "therapeutic painting." She asked McManus to be released on personal recognizance but if not, to allow him to convert bail to personal recognizance if he is able to get into a treatment program. She said he has no ability to post cash bail.
Before Tucker set bail, Conley called Bednar to the stand to describe the Jan. 6 incident.
Bednar said he was patrolling Route 25 in Ossipee just after midnight when he stopped a white Toyota Corolla displaying no license plates. He asked the driver for his license and registration, but McManus didn't have registration papers for the vehicle.
The trooper said he saw two prescription bottles with the labels ripped off by the center console. Bednar said he asked what was in them.
Bednar testified that McManus told him that one bottle had pills that his friend gave him for a toothache. The other had "some type crystal with a coffee liquid in it."
Around that time, State Police Sgt. (Nicholas) Levesque arrived. Levesque and Bednar worked to identify the pills, which Bednar said were prescription drugs.
McManus was later charged with possessing the prescription drug clindamycin hydrochloride (an antibiotic) without being a pharmacist and also with transporting the drug in a vehicle.
Bednar recalled that after they identified the drug in the bottle, he asked McManus to step out of the vehicle because he was under arrest for drug possession; however, McManus refused.
Bednar said he opened the driver side door.
"At that point, Mr. McManus disengaged his emergency brake, the vehicle he is driving is a standard (transmission); at that point, he stated that he was sorry, he couldn't get out of the vehicle for me," said Bednar.
"He put the vehicle in drive. At that point I had grabbed Mr. McManus with my left arm. When he began to drive, he dragged me for a short distance."
"I was focused on trying to get away from the vehicle and not get run over," said Bednar, who said the incident left him with a sore shoulder but he didn't seek any medical attention.
He said after getting back to his cruiser, he and Levesque pursued McManus for 28 minutes. He said they were going 60 mph on Norman Drew Road, which is posted at 30 mph.
A third trooper, James Callahan set out "stop sticks" at the end of the road. But according to Bednar, McManus drove over the sticks and kept going.
An Ossipee police officer attempted to set out stop sticks on Ossipee Mountain Road and Valley Road, where there was a dead end.
A flat tire had caused McManus to slow down, and Bednar said they ended up in a driveway of an unoccupied summer home.
According to Bednar, troopers ordered McManus out of the car, but he did not comply. Bednar said Callahan saw McManus smoking an "unknown substance from a glass pipe."
Bednar said he and the other two troopers were trying to get McManus out of the car, but McManus rolled up the windows and locked the doors.
At that point, Levesque broke the driver side window, and Callahan broke the passenger side window, opened the door and removed McManus.
McManus continued to resist, according to statements Bednar made on the stand and in court papers.
Court papers say Callahan put McManus on the ground.
"The (emergency) brake was never engaged, and the vehicle began to roll back towards Mr. McManus and Trooper Callahan," said Bednar, adding Callahan was able to stop the car by putting it in gear.
In cross-examination, Ashworth asked Bednar if he was aware that another trooper had pulled McManus over shortly before he did, and Bednar said he didn't know that at the time.
Ashworth also said McManus had a valid temporary plate.
Bednar told Ashworth that he found other drugs but he didn't know what they are because they were being tested at the lab.
Bednar also said he didn't know what McManus was reportedly smoking in the pipe.
McManus has a dispositional conference scheduled for Feb. 22 in Carroll County Superior Court.
The target date for receipt of felonies first indictment is April 8.
He remains at Carroll County's jail.