2020-07-29

Manhunt continues for local resident accused of trying to kill a Bridgewater cop

by Keith Corcoran

  • <p>SOURCE: BRIDGEWATER POLICE SERVICE</p><p>Tobias Charles Doucette, of Bridgewater, wanted for assault and attempted murder.</p>
  • <p>An emergency alert sent out July 21 warning Bridgewater residents of what was transpiring.</p>

A manhunt continues for Tobias Charles Doucette who's wanted by police for trying to kill a Bridgewater cop.

Law enforcement from Bridgewater, and neighbouring Lunenburg district RCMP, in addition to specialized police units, have fanned out around the South Shore town's southwest side, in search of the man, who is in his early 30s and allegedly knifed Sgt. Matt Bennett in the neck.

Doucette is indigenous, standing 6'2", 220 lbs, with brown hair and green eyes. He was last seen wearing black shorts and had no shoes or a shirt on.

The Bridgewater Police Service, in a news release issued July 21, didn't name Bennett but said a senior officer is in hospital with injuries considered serious. Just before 12 noon on July 21, the Bridgewater Police Service said "our officer is currently in surgery" at a Halifax hospital.

Bennett, along with two other municipal police officers, Cst. Will Creamer and Cst. Jamie Dearing, responded to a High Street hotel at about 11 p.m. for a reported disturbance between a man and woman. The incident was called in from the hotel's front desk.

The victim sustained a bloody nose and was in the lobby. The assailant wasn't immediately present. The initial report to authorities from dispatch indicated it didn't appear there were any weapons involved in the domestic dispute, according to unencrypted police radio communications obtained by LighthouseNOW.

At some point inside the hotel, Bennett was injured. A second officer can be heard frantically calling for an ambulance via radio.

His voice weakened and hoarse - most likely due to his wound - Bennett was lucid enough to also radio for an ambulance, and communicate a warning to officers about a man with a knife on the loose, and call for more officers and a police dog to respond.

The victim of the alleged domestic violence sustained injuries police considered minor and was treated and released from hospital. Police said she is no longer at risk and is in a safe place.

"The edged weapon was not recovered at scene," the Bridgewater Police said in the release, although officers communicated a knife was used.

Meanwhile, the suspect ran away from the area, and was initially seen heading in the direction of a fast-food restaurant. Authorities tracked leads around the former golf course, off nearby Dufferin Street, and tried containing the area in hopes of a quick discovery and conclusion to the matter.

The search expanded as reported sightings in backyards came in from Pine Street, Jubilee Road, Cornwallis Street, and Scotia Street neighbourhoods.

Law enforcement scoured bank and cell phone information and contacted taxi services to see if he was picked up. Gas stations and even sports field dugouts and canteen buildings were checked to no avail.

Police issued a news release at about 4 a.m., and later an emergency alert was sent warning local residents of what was transpiring in town.

Some businesses either delayed opening or closed for the day.

There have been no confirmed sightings since the alert was issued.

Doucette is charged with domestic assault on his common-law spouse, and attempted murder of Bennett.

Anyone who witnesses suspicious persons related to this matter is asked to avoid contact with Doucette and immediately call police.

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