September 4, 2008
Goffstown man bites court officer

New Hampshire Union Leader Staff

MANCHESTER - A 74-year-old court officer was bitten by a prisoner while the officer was trying to handcuff him inside a cell block, police said yesterday.

Ernest St. John, 59, of 1 Mast Road, Goffstown, faces a felony assault by a prisoner charge for allegedly biting the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department court officer and breaking his skin while St. John still was in custody at Manchester District Court on Wednesday.

"If my feet weren't stepped on, I wouldn't have hurt nobody," St. John told Judge Norman E. Champagne.

The court ordered St. John to submit to medical testing to determine if he has any contagious disease -- such as hepatitis or the HIV virus that can cause AIDS -- and release the results to the court officer.

"I do have Hepatitis C if anybody wants to know," St. John announced.

He was arraigned on a motor vehicle offense Wednesday and released on personal recognizance. While still in custody, St. John became disruptive and bit the court officer as the officer tried to handcuff him, police allege in an affidavit.



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