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Mother: Merrimack Valley student didn't take medication before alleged assault on police officers

Merrimack Valley student Dylan Chenette (bottom right) is arraigned at Concord District Court on Tuesday, December 4, 2012.

(ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)

Merrimack Valley student Dylan Chenette (bottom right) is arraigned at Concord District Court on Tuesday, December 4, 2012. (ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

A 17-year-old student accused of threatening to murder a police officer, assaulting another and spitting on a school principal at Merrimack Valley High School on Monday hadn’t been taking his medication in the days leading up to the confrontation, his mother said at an arraignment at the district court in Concord yesterday.

Judge Gerard Boyle entered not guilty pleas yesterday on behalf of Dylan Chenette of Boscawen, who was arrested at the school Monday and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, criminal threatening and five counts of simple assault. All are Class A misdemeanors.

The Concord police said Chenette was so out of control Monday that they couldn’t take a booking photo, but the teenager was subdued during his video arraignment yesterday, at one point addressing Boyle as “sir.”

Chenette’s public defender, Ellie Boisvert, told the judge that spending the night at the Merrimack County jail was a “wake-up call” for Chenette. She explained that Chenette is enrolled in only one class at Merrimack Valley High School, taking the rest through an alternative program run by the school district.

Boisvert said Chenette was doing well in his classes and comes from a stable family.

“He has been doing well at the Learning Center,” Boisvert said. “The risks of another incident like this occurring are very minimal.”

On Monday, Chenette was repeatedly using obscenities in the school’s main hallway a little before noon when Principal Mike Jette asked him to stop, according to court records. Chenette declined, and the situation escalated, the police said. As he was being escorted to the principal’s office, Chenette kicked and punched the school resource officer, eventually grabbing the man’s neck and digging his nails into the skin, court records show.

Once in custody, Chenette told the officer he intended to “get a ‘shive,’ ” stick the officer with it and then watch him “bleed out,” according to a police affidavit.

Chenette also said he would murder the officer’s family, the same affidavit said.

A second Concord police officer arrived at the school to help with the arrest. Chenette kicked that man in the chest and was eventually put into leg restraints, officers said. The officers suffered bumps, bruises and abrasions, and Chenette was unharmed, the police said.

Nicole Chenette told Boyle yesterday that her son “had been off his medication for a couple of days before this incident.”

She did not specify in court what her son has been prescribed and declined to comment after the arraignment because she was too upset.

Because Chenette also spit on Jette and the two officers, Boyle said yesterday he would require Chenette to agree to communicable disease testing, should prosecutors request it.

Boyle ordered Chenette released on $16,000 personal recognizance bail. Chenette’s conditions include taking the medication he’s been prescribed by a doctor, Boyle said.

Assistant City Prosecutor Paul Halvorsen had unsuccessfully asked for $200 cash bail e_SEnD $25 per offense.

He also said Chenette is under supervision in connection with a case in another court.

“Our main concern is the safety of the students at the school,” Halvorsen said.

Boyle said he would leave it to the school district to determine whether Chenette could return to school.

Merrimack Valley School Superintendent Mike Martin declined to comment specifically on Chenette, but said the responsibility for deciding to expel a student lies with the school board.

“Every situation is different and the facts are always different,” Martin said. “There are no two cases that are exactly alike.”

Chenette is next due in court Jan. 3.

(Molly A.K. Connors can be reached at 369-3319 or mconnors@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @MAKConnors )

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