Police say man fired gun at trailing vehicle in Lebanon

  • Donald Delisle (Lebanon Police photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 1/24/2022 9:37:28 PM
Modified: 1/24/2022 9:36:12 PM

A 50-year old Cornish man is being held without bail in Grafton County jail after he allegedly shot a gun at another vehicle after attempting to run it off the road during a road rage incident on Meriden Road in Lebanon on Saturday evening.

Donald Delisle, of Harrington Road in Cornish, pleaded not guilty during arraignment via video conference from Grafton County House of Corrections on Monday to charges of criminal threatening with a firearm, attempted negligent homicide, disorderly conduct, reckless operation and reckless conduct of a vehicle.

The alleged altercation took place on Meriden Road near Keene Medical Products just south of downtown Lebanon.

Grafton County Superior Court Judge Lawrence A. MacLeod Jr. ordered that Delisle be held at the North Haverill jail without bail pending further hearing, persuaded by Grafton County Assistant County Attorney Antonia Barry that Delisle — whom both the prosecutor and defense attorney acknowledged might be suffering from “mental health issues” — presents a danger to the community.

According to authorities, events unfolded shortly before 5 p.m. on Saturday when Lebanon police said they received a report of man driving a Chevrolet Tahoe traveling north on Meriden Road who had attempted to force a Toyota RAV4 off the road before aiming a handgun and shooting it through his the rear window of his own car at the RAV4.

The bullet did not strike the RAV4, which was being driven by Thomas Fredette whose wife, Tara, was in the passenger seat, according to an affidavit provided by Lebanon Police Sgt. Jeffrey Perkins.

Fredette told police that the driver of the Tahoe, which was traveling below the speed limit, had swerved toward his vehicle when Fredette attempted to pass on the left in a legal passing zone on Meriden Road, nearly forcing him into the snowbank.

Fredette said he braked and then slowed down to fall behind the Tahoe, but as they approached the intersection with Daisy Hill Road, Fredette “heard a loud bang and saw the rear window of the Tahoe blow out,” according to the affidavit.

Fredette called 911 and reported to the police the plate number of the Tahoe while he continued to follow the vehicle and its driver, who continued into Lebanon and turned east onto Bank Street and then away from downtown on Route 4, the affidavit said.

Fredette “was advised to stop following the Tahoe,” according to the affidavit, which he reported last seeing turn right from Route 4 onto Laplante Road, which is just east of Lebanon Middle School.

Lebanon police said they made a “felony stop” of the Tahoe near Keene Medical Products and were able to take Delisle into custody without incident. Police said they seized a .44 magnum revolver and a 16-gauge pump shotgun from Delisle’s vehicle.

While he was being taken into custody, Delisle told the arresting officer that he believed the people in the car he shot at were the same people that had been harassing him for days by revving their vehicles when they passed his home and also had “zapped” his phone and were trying to “poison” him with the antibiotic drug Ciprofloxacin.

(Barry, the county attorney, said the occupants of the vehicle Delisle shot at “are strangers to him. There was no ongoing conflict”).

Steve Mirkin, Delisle’s attorney at the hearing, argued that Delisle did not pose a danger to the community and should be released on bail. Mirkin told the court that one of the potential side effects of a medication Delisle is taking to treat ADHD is known to cause “agitation, hallucinations and abnormal thoughts.”

“It’s possible that had something to do with the perception he had (when) he told police when they stopped him that he was of the belief that the people attempting to pass him (were) trying to do him harm,” Mirkin said.

Desisle told police he was on his way to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center on Saturday when police were called.

“I told Donald that he shouldn’t be shooting at people along the way,” Perkins wrote in his affidavit. “Donald said he knew that but they were trying to pass him and he thought they were trying to shoot at him.”

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.

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