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Published on May 23, 2024
New Hampshire Schools Close Amid Hunt for Man Accused of Striking Massachusetts Police ChiefSource: Unsplash/ Max Fleischmann

Chaos ensued in a quaint New Hampshire town as schools closed their doors and a police manhunt intensified. Authorities continued the search for Michael Martelle, the man accused of "deliberately" mowing down a Massachusetts police chief with a vehicle on Tuesday before fleeing into the Granite State.

Hinsdale, New Hampshire, became the nexus of alarm after Warwick Police Chief David Shoemaker was intentionally struck, not once but twice, during a routine traffic stop, as reported by MassLive. The brazen incident took place on Tuesday afternoon, leading the assailant to subsequently crash near a school after a high-speed chase by police.

In response to the immediate danger, the Hinsdale School District canceled all classes and activities slated for Wednesday, with a board member April Anderson stating, "The Hinsdale School District canceled school and all school activities on May 22, 2024, as a precautionary measure to protect students and staff from any threat posed by an ongoing police search for a fleeing suspect in the area," in a statement obtained by Boston 25 News.

Officials asserted there was no direct threat to the public, yet urged locals to stay vigilant. "We have not instructed the town to hunker down, please just be aware of your surroundings," the Hinsdale Police shared on Facebook. Despite the suspect's elusive status since the crash on Brattleboro Road, which resulted in his passenger, Estrella Crespo, being apprehended and charged with disobeying an officer, Martelle remained the focus of an extensive manhunt, according to Boston 25 News.

Martelle, described as a white male with medium build, was last spotted sans shirt, donning black shorts, a man against whom Warwick police are pressing charges related to the deliberate hit-and-run. Anyone with pertinent information on Martelle's whereabouts or potential sightings is encouraged to promptly contact the Hinsdale Police, according to MassLive.