Police: Man charged with DWI in Concord sets off booking room sprinkler system

  • Matthew Miller, 28, of Wilmot —Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 9/10/2019 3:05:27 PM

A Wilmot man arrested for drunken driving early Tuesday morning tampered with a fire sprinkler, causing it to activate and flood the Concord Police Department’s booking area.

Other sprinklers were also activated in the basement of the Green Street police station where more than six inches of water filled cell blocks and the processing station, Concord police Lt. Sean Ford said. The water caused significant damage to computers and other electronics and left the booking area out of service for several hours on Tuesday.

Matthew Miller, 28, faces felony counts of criminal mischief and interfering with a fire alarm apparatus in connection with the incident. He was initially picked up by Concord police on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence on North State Street.

Concord police Officer Richard Cobb observed a vehicle weaving in and out of its lane at approximately 12:19 a.m. in the area of the New Hampshire State Prison for Men. Cobb pulled over the vehicle and observed that Miller’s eyes were “bloodshot and glassy,” according to a sworn police affidavit.

Prior to a field sobriety test, Miller told Cobb that he’d had three alcoholic beverages earlier that evening, the affidavit says. After failing the test, he was placed under arrest.

While Miller was at the police station being processed on the DWI charge, Cobb left the booking area to retrieve some paperwork. It was during that time that a night shift supervisor observed Miller on video surveillance demonstrate “highly abnormal behavior” to include inspecting the storm drain. When he reached up to the ceiling and caused the sprinkler to let loose, “Miller began yelling “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, help me!” the affidavit says.

Police said there are investigating whether Miller may have been under the influence of other substances in addition to alcohol at the time of his arrest.

In addition to computer systems, the elevator and ammunition storage were also affected by the flood. The fire department responded to the call, as well as other agencies to assist in inspecting, repairing and cleaning up the damage caused by the water.

Miller was transferred during the overnight hours to the Merrimack County jail in Boscawen. He was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord.

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