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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Nashua man suspected in Merrimack crash, manhunt arraigned

By DEAN SHALHOUP
Staff Writer

MERRIMACK - Reynardo Dejesus Rodriguez Placencia, the Nashua man arrested Tuesday on multiple charges following a hit-and-run crash and police manhunt, was arraigned Wednesday and ordered held overnight pending a Thursday bail hearing in Merrimack district court.

Placencia, 22, was taken into custody around noon Tuesday, about an hour and a half after he allegedly crashed his car into a parked truck in a Dunkin' Donuts parking lot and then fled on foot. ...

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MERRIMACK - Reynardo Dejesus Rodriguez Placencia, the Nashua man arrested Tuesday on multiple charges following a hit-and-run crash and police manhunt, was arraigned Wednesday and ordered held overnight pending a Thursday bail hearing in Merrimack district court.

Placencia, 22, was taken into custody around noon Tuesday, about an hour and a half after he allegedly crashed his car into a parked truck in a Dunkin' Donuts parking lot and then fled on foot.

Not guilty charges were entered on his behalf at Wednesday's arraignment, conducted in the Merrimack court by Judge Michael Ryan via video conference from Valley Street jail in Manchester.

He is charged with one count each of conduct after an accident and breach of bail conditions, along with two counts of resisting arrest, police said.

He was jailed on $20,000 cash bail, which Ryan continued pending Thursday's hearing.

Placencia is also a person of interest to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, who had
recently placed a "detainer," also called an "ICE hold," on him, according to ICE spokesman Shawn Neudauer.

Having learned that Placencia was arrested earlier this month on a separate set of charges unrelated to Tuesday's incident, ICE agents had been in town hoping to make contact with him and question him about immigration issues, Neudauer added.

"Our officers weren't involved in (Tuesday's hit-and-run crash), the search or the arrest," Neudauer said of ICE agents. Whether the agents plan to lodge immigration-related charges against Placencia, and if so, when, wasn't known as of late Wednesday.

At his arraignment, meanwhile, Placencia didn't address the court other than answering Ryan's questions during the roughly 15-minute proceeding, which was conducted with the assistance of a Spanish-English translator.

About a half dozen people attended the arraignment in support of Placencia, afterwards speaking briefly with police prosecutor Lisa Rick.

They indicated to Ryan that Placencia will be represented at Thursday's bail hearing by Nashua Attorney Adam Bernstein.

Placencia's arrest on Wednesday was his second within 10 days in Merrimack. The first, on Nov. 18, involved charges of unarmed robbery, false imprisonment and domestic violence-related simple assault, accusing him of accosting a woman he knows at the Merrimack Premium Outlets mall and taking her cellphone.

He was later released on $5,000 cash or surety bail, which accounts for the breach of bail conditions charge that was lodged Wednesday.

It was just after 10:30 a.m. Wednesday that the series of events that led to Placencia's arrest began to unfold. Police were called to the Dunkin' Donuts at 308 Daniel Webster Highway for a report that a Honda Civic had struck a parked pickup truck, and that the driver had run off on foot.

Numerous Merrimack and state police officers converged on the small plaza, which Dunkin' Donuts shares with a True Blue Cleaners store.

Several witnesses provided a description of the driver, which police broadcast to other Merrimack officers and to neighboring police departments.

The Civic appeared to be headed south on Daniel Webster Highway when, for reasons that are still under investigation, it jumped the curb at the Dunkin' Donuts entrance, crossed a small grassy median and crashed into the pickup, which was parked in the first parking space.

Roughly 30 minutes into the search, all involved units headed to the East Ridge Village apartment and condominium complex, roughly a quarter mile north of the crash scene, after a resident reported seeing a suspicious man emerge from the woods and run north through the parking lot.

The woman described him as fairly tall and thin with bushy hair, which matched the description of the suspect later identified as Placencia.

State and local police, and the K-9 unit, relocated to East Ridge, spreading out through the complex and its surrounds. The dog took officers north, past various businesses, then across Daniel Webster Highway toward the area where the officers would soon spot Placencia.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.