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Former Concord detective pleads guilty to domestic violence, avoids more serious felony charges

  • Concord police officer Bryan Croft stands by as students board buses during dismissal at Rundlett Middle School on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz

Concord Monitor
Published: 6/4/2021 4:09:44 PM

A former Concord police detective pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence and stalking charges Friday and will spend eight months in jail if he remains on good behavior.

As part of a negotiated plea bargain, prosecutors dropped five felony charges against Croft, including second-degree assault, witness tampering and falsifying physical evidence.

“This is a sad case,” Superior Court Judge David Anderson said. “It’s had a sad consequence for the careers of the defendant and the victim.”

Croft, who is the son of Merrimack County Sheriff David Croft, was first arrested in January on charges stemming from a domestic violence incident in October.

Croft was accused of strangling his wife while she held their infant son, and then forcing her outside, before bolting the door with a chain. Croft then slammed the door on his wife’s arm as she reached inside to unlock the door, according to court documents.

He was arrested again in May, this time accused of stalking and contempt of court for secretly meeting his wife while he was out on bail. According to his conditions of release, Croft could not come within 1,000 feet of his wife.

Croft pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence, as well as the stalking and contempt of court charges Friday.

For the domestic violence charge, he was sentenced to serve 12 months in jail, with eight months suspended as long as he remained on good behavior for a period of two years. For the contempt of court charge, he was sentenced to six months in jail with two months suspended, which will total a minimum of eight months of incarceration. Croft will also receive credit for the 37 days he has already spent in jail.

Anderson asked if the victim agreed with the sentencing.

Assistant Attorney General Tim Sullivan said the victim did not want to see him serve any more time and declined to give a victim impact statement to the court.

“This was a significantly higher sentence than she requested,” Sullivan said.

As part of his sentencing, Croft agreed to be decertified as a police officer and undergo domestic violence counseling.

Croft had been on unpaid leave from the Concord Police Department as the case unfolded. Concord Police Chief Brad Osgood had requested State Police investigate the case.

After state police began investigating, Croft was accused of directing his wife to lie about what happened, at first telling her to deny anything happened. Later, he instructed her to tell investigators she was injured while moving exercise equipment in the home. He is also accused of ordering her to delete photo and video evidence on her phone, according to court documents.

Anderson said the case underscored how domestic violence knows no boundaries in society and can occur across different walks of life, including law enforcement.

“It’s a positive step you are taking responsibility for this,” Anderson said to Croft. “I wish you the best of luck going forward.”

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