High school administrator from N.H. arrested at Salisbury strip club

Peter Gagnon

SALISBURY – A New Hampshire school administrator who allegedly got too up close and personal with dancers at Ten’s Show Club earlier this week was arraigned on multiple charges Thursday in Newburyport District Court. 

Peter A. Gagnon, 37, of Brunswick Circle, Pelham, N.H., was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after it took three police officers to remove him from the North End Boulevard club. Gagnon has been dean of students at Souhegan High School in Amherst, N.H., for about four years. 

Gagnon attempted to work out a plea deal with Essex County prosecutor Shailagh Kennedy in court.

But after about 20 minutes, both parties informed Judge Peter Doyle they could not reach an agreement. Instead, Gagnon was ordered to return June 27 for a pretrial hearing. 

Three officers responded to the club just after midnight Wednesday after the management reported a patron was getting too close to dancers and would enter the women’s room on multiple occasions, according to a police report. Security had asked Gagnon to leave several times but he refused. 

As soon as Gagnon saw police approaching, he stood up and put his hands in front of him as if he knew he would be handcuffed. It was immediately apparent to officers that Gagnon was intoxicated. Instead of handcuffing him, officers escorted him out of the main part of the club and into the lobby. 

At first, police tried to figure out where he lived so they could give him a ride home. But Gagnon refused any rides, saying he wanted to walk. The officers told him that because he was intoxicated, they couldn’t let him leave on his own. 

When attempts were made to handcuff him, Gagnon resisted to the point where it took all three officers to subdue him, police said.

Once outside the club, Gagnon refused to get inside the police cruiser. After several minutes of unsuccessfully placing him in the cruiser, police told him they would use a Taser on him if he didn’t comply. 

Gagnon encouraged police to use the Taser, which they did for about five seconds until getting him into the cruiser, Salisbury police Sgt. James Leavitt wrote in his report. 

During a search of Gagnon’s belongings, police found a Souhegan High School identification card. 

While at the police station, Gagnon continued to be uncooperative.

When asked for a phone number, he replied “1-800-(expletive) you.”  When posing for his booking photo, Gagnon gave the finger, police said. 

During booking, Gagnon’s wife texted him: “Where are you?” 

“I returned a text to her requesting that she contact this department, which she did within a few moments,” Leavitt wrote in his report. “She was completely surprised by what I was telling her and she stated that it sounded completely out of character for him.” 

A call Thursday by The Daily News to School Administrative Unit 39 Superintendent Peter Warburton, who oversees Souhegan High School, was not returned by press time.

Staff Writer Dave Rogers can be reached at drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.


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