Wrong-way driver faces DWI charge

CANTERBURY — A Meredith man who was driving south in the northbound lane of Interstate 93 at 2:30 a.m. is facing a DWI second offense charge of reckless conduct and a charge of having an open alcohol container in his car.

10-21 Michael Drake

New Hampshire State Police said Michael Drake, 34, allegedly had a breath test result that was two times the legal limit for alcohol of 0.08 percent.

Police said Drake allegedly caused a head-on collision near mile marker 52.4 in Canterbury and drove about six more miles before being spotted by Trooper Christopher Martineau, who was able to get him to stop.

Drake was released on $8,000 personal recognizance bail and scheduled to appear at 6th Circuit Court, Concord Division on Nov. 4.

Anyone with any additional information is asked to call Martineau at 603-223-8626 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

– Gail Ober

Wolfeboro fire destroys office building’s garage

WOLFEBORO — A garage attached to an office building at 35 Bay St. and owned by Sawmill Marina Boating Club burned to the ground Oct. 19.

Deputy Fire Chief Tom Zotti said the garage that was used for storage by the tenants of the office building is a total loss, but that firefighters were able to save the office building, though there is some significant smoke and water damage to it.

"Initial crews did a good job knocking down the fire," said Zotti. "As to the office, I guess it's in the hands of the insurance company."

He said the office portion is unusable in its present state.

He said the boat storage building next door sustained minor damage when some of the shingles and siding melted from the heat of the blaze.

He said the fire was reported to them at 11:18 p.m. and was under control by 12:09 a.m.

Crews from Tuftonboro, Ossipee, and Wakefield assisted at the scene, while crews from Alton covered the Wolfeboro station.

Zotti said the blaze in under investigation but doesn't appear to be intentionally set.

– Gail Ober

10-20 161019 35 Bay St picture 1 10-20 161020 35 Bay St picture 2

A fire at the office building on 35 Bay St. in Wolfeboro on Wednesday, Oct. 19 destroyed a garage. (Courtesy photo/Wolfeboro Police Department)

Backpack search ruled legal, drug case to proceed


LACONIA — A Belknap County Superior Court judge has said the methamphetamine found by Meredith Police in a backpack for a man who was behaving erratically will be admitted into evidence after Joshua Pike, 29, of no fixed address, was charged with possession. The finding will allow the case to move forward, rather than being thrown out.

Judge James O'Neill wrote that the search of Pike's backpack in January met the criteria established by the state legislature that says police were allowed to search Pike's backpack before he was taken to the hospital by an ambulance to make sure nothing in it posed a threat to police or the ambulance and hospital personnel.

On Jan. 26, Meredith officers had responded to a report of a man who was "acting weird." While responding, the officer learned the man, who was later identified as Pike, was trying to remove his clothes.

The first responding officer noticed that Pike was removing his jacket and that his pants were unzipped. He said Pike was making erratic movements with his hands and arms and was grabbing at own face. He noticed Pike had sores on his body and fresh blood on his hands.

The officer, who was assisted by two other officers, called for an ambulance and noted in his report that through his training and experience believed Pike was under the influence of methamphetamine. He said Pike had a backpack that he dropped at the officer's feet.

The officer who searched it said he was only checking it for weapons so he could put the backpack in the ambulance to go with Pike to the hospital.

After Pike himself was checked for weapons, the officer went through the backpack and found a pink sack that he said was heavy enough and big enough to hold a small gun. When they searched it, they found some methamphetamine.

O'Neill determined that the officers were correct in placing Pike into protective custody, despite the fact that he didn't smell of alcohol, because of his erratic behavior and his attempts to remove his clothing on a cold January day.

He also ruled they were correct in searching the backpack because of the potential danger its contents could have posed to Pike, themselves, the ambulance crews and the people at the hospital.

Pike's trial for possession is scheduled for November.