Recently, Lieutenant Donald R. Blanchette, Jr. of the Mendon Police Department was placed on paid leave while under investigation for misconduct by the Worcester District Attorney’s Office. The Police Department and DA’s office refused to say what he was being investigated for. Now, the officer is facing criminal charges and the results of the investigation have been disclosed.
The Telegram & Gazette reports:
Lt. Blanchette, 50, pleaded not guilty Monday in Milford District Court to four counts of assault and battery, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and a count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Judge Robert Calagione ordered Lt. Blanchette to stay away from the alleged victims.
The judge allowed motions to impound or redact the lieutenant’s address and waived his appearance at the next pretrial conference. The case was continued to Dec. 16.
The judge indicated he intends to have the case transferred to another court, Timothy J. Connolly, a spokesman for Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr., said today.
Lt. Blanchette was arrested Monday by state police assigned to Mr. Early’s office.
The lieutenant allegedly assaulted Officer Christopher Bettencourt with a knife on Sept. 10, the police report said.
Officer Bettencourt was placed in fear when the lieutenant raised an open folding tactical knife toward Officer Bettencourt’s neck and groin, state police said.
On “diverse dates” from Jan. 11 to May 17, Lt. Blanchette assaulted Officer Bruce Poirier by striking him with a closed fist, the report said.
Without notice or provocation the lieutenant punched Officer Poirier in the chest, state police said.
Within the same time, Lt. Blanchette struck Officer Poirier’s chest and back, state police said.
On Sept. 17, Lt. Blanchette struck Officer Bettencourt in the ribs, investigators said.
From 2008 to 2013, Lt. Blanchette struck Officer Bettencourt in the chest. He punched Officer Bettencourt in the arm with a closed fist without notice or provocation, the report said.
On or about Jan. 11, Lt. Blanchette attempted to use his department issued Taser to “drive stun” Officer Poirier in the groin, state police said.
From Nov. 19 to April 29, Lt. Blanchette aimed a Taser at Officer Poirier, the report said.
From 2008 to January 2010, Lt. Blanchette used “an antenna-like” device in a whipping motion to strike Officer Poirier, the report said.
Last week, Mendon Police Chief Ernest Horn confirmed that Lt. Blanchette had been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
On Tuesday, Chief Horn said Lt. Blanchette will be transferring to medical leave at the end of the week for an unrelated medical issue.