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Two charged after brawl in apartment building

September 17, 2013

WOONSOCKET – It started out as a call to police dispatch that an intoxicated female had just pulled a false fire alarm, and it went downhill from there.

The ensuing pandemonium at 126 Earle St. Sunday included a confrontation with a knife-wielding woman barricading the front door of her apartment, and a violent wrestling match with a man who was allegedly reaching for a steak knife before police could get him in handcuffs.

Two people ended up in custody, including Thomas Patrick Biagetti, 49, who was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting Officer Linden Karsner.

Lorretta Jean Bouche, 46, who lives at the apartment, was charged with pulling a false fire alarm and vandalism.

Police arrived about 2 p.m. to find Bouche pacing the grounds outside the apartment. Cursing profusely, police said, she freely admitted pulling the alarm to teach a woman in her apartment named Lori Miles “a lesson” for locking her out.

Around that time, the investigation took on an air of urgency because the police were informed by another tenant of the multi-unit apartment building someone was injured inside Bouche’s apartment.

Officer Mitchel Voyer pushed on the door, which was slightly ajar. When he did so, someone pushed back. He pushed harder and saw a woman leaning against the other side clutching a knife. He drew his firearm and lunged harder against the door, causing the woman to fall face-first to the floor, at which point she abruptly dropped the blade.
Police reported no further problems with the woman, who they identified as Miles. Despite the entryway clash with police, she was not charged with any crime. Detective Matt Ryan, police spokesman, said she might not have realized the people attempting to force their way into the apartment were police, or why they were there.

But Voyer and Karsner said Biagetti refused to comply with their commands to get off a couch and get on the floor. Karsner said Biagetti shoved her backwards, prompting her to begin striking him about the face with closed fists in attempts to subdue him.

At one point, Biagetti was on his hands and knees as Karsner attempted to get him into handcuffs, to no avail. That’s when she realized a steak knife was on the floor, nearly within Biagetti’s reach.

Voyer heard Karsner yell out a warning about the weapon, and joined in the fray. Voyer said he kicked Biagetti in the face twice before he and Karsner were able to restrain him. Voyer said he intervened so aggressively because Biagetti appeared to be attempting to grab the knife.

Biagetti, who gave his address as 109 Arnold St., was later taken by rescue personnel to Landmark Medical Center, where he was treated for what police described as minor cuts and bruises on his face.

The police response to 126 Earl St. wasn’t the first time police had been dispatched to the residence during the course of the weekend. Karsner reported that during the previous 36 hours, police had been sent to the residence a half-dozen times.

The reasons were not explained in the report, but police logs do not indicate that any other arrests took place at that address during that period.

Despite the information they had received from the tenant on their last visit, police found no one in the apartment who was injured when they went in.

Follow Russ Olivo on Twitter @russolivo

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