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Man who tried to escape Townsend station held without bail


AYER — Veteran Townsend Police Officer George Reidy testified Tuesday that during a struggle to escape from the Townsend Police Station last week, prisoner Ian Bardwell jumped Reidy, using one arm to choke the officer and the other to reach for the officer’s Taser.

Bardwell was sufficiently off balance to enable the officer to push the 21-year-old Vineyard Haven man off him, Reidy testified during Bardwell’s dangerousness hearing in Ayer District Court.

But even as Reidy stood up, trying to regain control of the prisoner, Bardwell grabbed Reidy’s Taser and pointed it at the officer, Reidy testified.

Bardwell didn’t know that after Reidy, who has used the weapon once, had disabled it.

Bardwell allegedly swung the Taser at Reidy, hitting him in the face, and then ran down Dudley Road near the police station, straight into the path of Townsend Police Sgt. Randy Girard.

Bardwell is charged with attempted murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and escape from a municipal lockup in connection with the Oct. 10 incident. Judge Michael Brooks ordered Bardwell held without bail.

Defense attorney Peter Ettenberg asked that Bardwell be sent to Bridgewater State Hospital, rather than jail, so he can receive the proper medications for bipolar disorder.

Ettenberg said Bardwell walked out of a treatment center in Ashby days before the incident. The center contacted police, informing them that Bardwell had several warrants for his arrest out of Edgartown District Court. Those charges include operating under the influence of alcohol causing serious injury, violation of a restraining order and strangulation.

Townsend police spotted Bardwell outside the VFW on Oct. 8 and took him to the police station to be held until he could appear in court after the Columbus Day holiday. During that three-day weekend, Bardwell was taken to local hospitals twice complaining of various ailments.

After the second trip at around 7 p.m. on Oct. 10, Reidy was returning Bardwell to his holding cell. Bardwell asked to watch the Red Sox game, and Reidy refused. Bardwell allegedly launched into a tirade, claiming to be God and ordering Reidy to release him.

Bardwell allegedly grew more violent and struggled with Reidy, eventually crawling under the sally port door.

Reidy and Bardwell were both treated for minor scrapes.

Bardwell’s next court date is Nov. 21 for a pretrial conference.

Follow Lisa Redmond on Tout and Twitter@lredmond13_lisa

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