Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


June 20, 2013

SWAT called in for pitchfork attack

Judge orders evaluation of resident


After NEMLEC arrived, part of Woburn Street was shut down and a staging area was established at South Elementary School, located across the street from Croteau’s home, according to scanner reports.

More than an hour later, about two hours after the initial call was made to police, the SWAT team was able to apprehend Croteau and end the standoff peacefully, according to Guy.

There were no threats to others communicated throughout the ordeal and nobody else was put at risk, according to Guy. Rumors circulating around the scene that explosives may have been involved were unsubstantiated, he said.

Guy characterized Croteau as “emotionally disturbed.”

“We have had prior dealings with him, so we’re familiar with him,” Guy said. “But it had been approximately a year since we had any dealing with him.”

After his arrest, Croteau was taken to an area hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. He was held without bail after his arraignment Monday on the five charges.

A court document ordering Croteau’s commitment to Bridgewater State Hospital said that he “defecated in his trousers, appeared maybe responding to internal stimuli, threatened to `dropping pants and (defecate) on the judge’” in court.

The order says the commitment is necessary because of continuing doubt that Croteau is competent to stand trial. The order also certifies that criminal responsibility is in doubt “by reason of the defendant’s possible mental illness or defect.”

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