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Phone video of four suspects’ brawl with police needs to be preserved, lawyer says

NASHUA – Several Nashua firefighters, ambulance personnel and a tow truck operator may very well have saved a Nashua police officer from serious, possibly life-threatening, injuries by helping to subdue a suspect who was allegedly squeezing the officer’s neck and causing him to nearly lose consciousness, police said.

An affidavit filed Wednesday in the case of Emanuel Perez, 25, one of four suspects who allegedly attacked police at the scene of a Sept. 16 crash involving a school bus and two cars on Nashua’s Tinker Road, describes a harrowing series of events that erupted when three people Perez knows showed up and allegedly began shouting at officers who responded to the crash.

Police and witnesses said the confrontation soon turned physical, apparently triggered by officers’ warnings to the suspects to either cease their behavior or they would be arrested.

Once the dust settled, Perez, of 38 Falconer Ave., Milford, reportedly the driver of one of the cars involved in the crash, was charged with one count of second-degree assault – strangulation, Class B felony, and one count each of hindering apprehension or prosecution and resisting arrest or detention, Class A misdemeanors.

He was also charged with following too closely, a motor vehicle violation.

Perez waived arraignment Thursday in Superior Court, and remains free on $1,000 cash bail. His next court date has not yet been scheduled.

Also arrested were Ivan Perez-Garcia, 36; Ricardo Perez, 31; and Lauren Benuck, 26, all of 16 Wilder St., Nashua.

Perez-Garcia is charged with two counts of disorderly conduct, and one count each of hindering apprehension or prosecution and resisting arrest or detention, all Class A misdmeanors.

Ricardo Perez is charged with one count each of simple assault, hindering apprehension or prosecution, and resisting arrest or detention, Class A misdemeanors.

Benuck is charged with one count each of hindering apprehension or prosecution and resisting arrest or detention, Class A misdemeanors.

Ricardo Perez was released on $200 cash bail, while Perez-Gardia and Benuck were released on personal recognizance bail. All three are scheduled for arraignment on Nov. 1 in Nashua district court.

As for the Sept. 16 incident, there were 10 children on the bus, but police said none of them, nor anyone else involved, was injured.

It appears from the police reports that officers first dealt with Perez-Garcia, who they say was “warned numerous times for disorderly conduct.”

When he allegedly disobeyed the orders, allegedly shouting, “you’re a (expletive) tough guy,” and “get out of my face,” to an officer, he was told he was under arrest, police said.

As they tried to take him into custody, police said Emanuel Perez allegedly interfered by putting himself between Perez-Garcia and the officer.

When another officer tried to subdue Perez and arrest him, Ricardo Perez and Benuck allegedly interfered, police said.

As Officer Alex Mann was attempting to take Ricardo Perez into custody, police said, Emanuel Perez allegedly “wrapped his arm around Mann’s neck” while shouting “don’t touch my (expletive) brother.”

Police said Mann’s “breathing and blood-flow were impeded” by Perez allegedly squeezing Mann’s neck with his arm.

Mann “thought he was ‘blacking out’ … he said he felt his body go limp as he started to drift out of consciousness,” according to police reports.

Another officer struck Perez and was able to force Perez to “release Officer Mann’s neck,” and, with the assistance of firefighters and the tow-truck operator, was able to handcuff Perez as well as the three other suspects.

Police said Mann was transported to a local hospital, where he was treated and later released.

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