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LEOMINSTER -- Police allege a Fitchburg man violently fought with officers and bit a police lieutenant in the neck while attempting to hide from them in a Leominster attic Tuesday morning.
Alex Rivera, 27, a homeless man, faces 26 criminal charges stemming from the incident, which allegedly began with a domestic assault and ended in the fight with officers, according to court documents.
Rivera's girlfriend reported to Officer Kimberly A. Shorey that Rivera had allegedly punched her and threatened her with a knife Monday evening, and the alleged victim sought charges the next morning.
"While I was speaking with (the alleged victim) at the station, Alex was calling her cell phone from the home phone," Shorey wrote in a report, adding officers went to the house to arrest him.
Officer Richard Shea first located Rivera in the attic crawl space, where he was hiding under a plank of wood, and Rivera allegedly did not comply with officers' commands to come out.
Shea wrote in a report he fired several pepper balls into the area to try to entice Rivera to come out -- Rivera allegedly threw pieces of wood at officers and attempted to hit them with broken wooden planks.
Officer Dwayne Flowers described Rivera's alleged cover in the attic as a barricade.
"Soon thereafter the suspect had emerged in what could best be described as an extreme act of violence attacking those within his reach," Flowers wrote. In several police reports, officers noted not knowing whether Rivera was armed; his girlfriend had alleged he used a butcher's knife to threaten her, and police were unable to locate the knife in the house.

Lt. Michael Goldman said the situation could have escalated to the point where officers needed to use deadly force but said they used "a great deal of restraint (during) a seriously violent call."
Flowers reported seeing Rivera then straddle Lt. Robert Healey, "engaging in an atrocious act of violence; the suspect was biting his neck."
Flowers reported placing his baton between Rivera's neck and Healey as he and other officers pulled the two apart.
"There was absolutely no other alternative short of deadly force," Flowers wrote, adding Rivera allegedly later asked officers repeatedly why they did not kill him, and allegedly saying he had wanted to die.
Sgt. Charles Doherty described the attic as being "extremely hot," covered with blown-in insulation and with an unsteady floor -- officers also had to grapple with a suspect who was covered in sweat and blood, making him difficult to subdue.
Doherty reported several officers were affected by injuries and the pepper bombs, and Rivera was transported to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, allegedly saying, while waiting for the ambulance, "he wanted us to kill him so he did not have to go back to jail."
Officer Julio Ramos said the puncture wound to Healey's neck made it look "as if he was stabbed with something."
Shorey reported not being able to see Healey's face because it was covered with "dust, debris and blood."
Healey wrote in a report he had fallen on the uncovered attic floor while trying to subdue Rivera, who was allegedly swinging wood strips with both hands at the officers, when he felt Rivera allegedly bite down on his neck.
Healey received medical treatment, and several officers received disinfection treatment, according to reports.
Leominster District Court Judge Martha Brennan ordered Rivera held without bail during his arraignment Tuesday. Brennan set a dangerousness hearing for July 23, according to court documents

http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/police/ci_9906484
 
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