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For Immediate Release
July 19, 2019
For more information contact:
Trooper Matthew Locke

Fugitive Arrest/K9 Apprehension, Rochester, New Hampshire

booking photo of John R. Sweeney

On July 18th, 2019 at approximately 7:40PM, Trooper Matthew Locke contacted two bicyclists, a male party and a female party, in the parking lot of the Lilac Mall in the City of Rochester. Trooper Locke had observed both bicyclists riding upon Route 125 North a short time earlier in a manner which had been obstructing vehicular traffic and noted that the female party matched the description of a suspect in a theft at a local convenience store. Upon being questioned, the male party provided a false identity.

Trooper Haden Wilber subsequently arrived on scene to assist and following further investigation, the Troopers positively identified the male party as John R. Sweeney, 52, of Concord, New Hampshire. Troopers further determined that Sweeney was on parole as a result of a prior conviction for Second Degree Murder and that the State Board of Parole had issued a warrant for Sweeney's arrest- stemming from Sweeney violating the conditions of his parole. As Troopers developed this information, Sweeney fled on foot through the parking lot of the Lilac Mall toward a wooded area. Troopers Locke and Wilber began pursuing Sweeney on foot at which time Trooper Wilber deployed his K9 partner "Gauge" in an effort to apprehend Sweeney due to the nature of the crime for which Sweeney was wanted and the potential risk posed to the public. K9 "Gauge" successfully incapacitated Sweeney, bringing Sweeney to the ground, at which time Troopers Locke and Wilber were able to take Sweeney into custody without further incident.

Following Sweeney's arrest, Sweeney was transported to Frisbie Memorial Hospital via ambulance for injuries stemming from the K9 apprehension. After being medically treated and cleared for incarceration by medical personnel, Sweeney was transported to the Strafford County House of Corrections where Sweeney was held without bail on the outstanding warrant pending his return to the New Hampshire State Prison in the City of Concord. Sweeney was also ordered to appear in the 7th Circuit Court – District Division – Rochester on October 9th, 2019 to answer to additionalcharges of Resisting Arrest or Detention and Obstructing Government Administration filed by the New Hampshire State Police as a result of this incident. The female party involved in this incident also fled the area and was not apprehended. An arrest warrant is forthcoming for the female party. No further information is available at this time.

Assisting the New Hampshire State Police Mobile Enforcement Team at the scene of this incident were Troopers from the New Hampshire State Police – Troop A Barracks, as well as Officers from the Rochester Police Department and personnel from Frisbie Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services.

Anyone with information pertaining to this incident is asked to contact Trooper Matthew Locke, of the New Hampshire State Police – Mobile Enforcement Team, at (603) 223-8490 or

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