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Casey Howard of Leeds pleads not guilty to charges connected to January melee with police inside Thornes Marketplace

Casey Howard, 27, of 145 Water St., pleaded not guilty in Hampshire Superior Court before Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder to charges of assault and battery on a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of a class D drug with intent to distribute and possession of a class B drug with intent to distribute.

Howard is held on the same $1,000 bail set at his arraignment in Northampton District Court in February. He is due back in court July 16.

According to police, on Jan. 31 at about 5 p.m., officers approached Howard and another man were approached for what was described as suspicious drug-related activity.


Howard ran from the officer before being caught in front of Cornucopia on the lower level, police said.

Howard and the officer struggled for three or four minutes before other officers arrived, at which point Howard allegedly tried to remove a gun from one of the officer’s holsters.

Howard was also allegedly carrying a BB pistol, which fell on to the floor during the struggle.

Witnesses at the time thought the gun was the officer’s, but police said Howard was not able to able to successfully remove that weapon.

According to police, the man with Howard did not flee and did not assist Howard during the fight and was not charged.

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