Report: Concord officer in car for crash that led to DWI charge, left man in coma

Monitor staff
Published: 8/9/2017 12:13:10 AM

The spouse of a Concord police officer has been charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated after a car crash left a man in a coma, according to police records.

Peter Richard, 32, of Pembroke was arrested after the vehicle he was driving went off Narrows Road in Barnstead and collided with a tree around 10:21 p.m. July 30, according to reports. He refused sobriety tests later that night at the hospital, police said.

Concord police Officer Dana Dexter was one of three men in the vehicle, according to court documents.

The other passenger, Kristopher Prescott, was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center after suffering a concussion, bleeding in the brain and a broken wrist, according to an affidavit prepared by New Hampshire State Police Trooper Christopher Carter.

Both Richard and Dexter were transported to Concord Hospital, where Trooper Carter interviewed Richard and noted the odor of an alcoholic beverage, that Richard’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy, and that Richard was speaking with a “thick tongue” at times during the conversation, according to court records.

Richard denied having drunk any alcohol and stated that he didn’t know why Carter could smell alcohol. Carter then reportedly asked Richard to do some “tests,” which Richard declined after repeatedly stating it was his right to refuse, according to court documents.

Richard said he had taken Lorazepam at 2 a.m. July 30, noting that he takes the drug as needed when he wakes up in the middle of the night or when he has anxiety, according to reports.

Prescott was still unconscious when the affidavit was filed Aug. 4. A spokesperson with Dartmouth-Hitchcock could not provide any information on Prescott.

Dexter identified himself as Richard’s husband during a conversation with Barnstead police Officer Patrick Cremin during the incident, according to Carter, who spoke with Cremin about the crash.

“(Cremin) stated that he was trying to ask Richard questions about the crash, but Dexter was answering for him,” Carter wrote. “Then Officer Cremin asked Richard for his phone number and address, and Dexter stated ‘that’s my husband, we have the same address.’ ”

According to the affidavit, Cremin asked Richard for his phone number, which he started to give. Dexter then interrupted and gave a different phone number. An individual who answered a phone call to that number Tuesday did not identify himself, said he believed the Monitor had the wrong number and hung up when asked to comment.

At the scene of the accident, Dexter explained that Richard had gone off the road and struck the tree because he did not see the curve approaching, Carter wrote.

When Carter interviewed Richard at the hospital later that night, Richard said he was driving home from a friend’s house and attempted to make the corner by turning the wheel as he approached, the affidavit said. However, when he did so, “the car went straight,” Carter wrote, and Richard attributed his inability to turn to the car sliding on dirt.

“I further told him that others had to have taken that corner earlier in the day and made it,” Carter wrote.

Carter said Richard denied speeding or doing anything else in the car prior to the accident.

Richard is out on $1,000 personal recognizance bail and is scheduled for arraignment in Belknap County Superior Court at 1 p.m. Thursday, according to court documents.

New Hampshire State Police did not send out a press statement about the accident.

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