A former Taunton man who attempted to break into two houses and then attempted ‘suicide by a cop’ has been sentenced to serve up to ten years in prison.
The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office said Serge Andre, 33, was found guilty by a jury in Fall River Superior Court last week on indictments charging him with assault and battery on a police officer with attempted disarming, assault with a dangerous weapon, leaving the scene of an accident, careless operation of a motor vehicle and two counts of attempted break and enter.
André was sentenced to a prison term of eight and a half to 10 years, followed by three years of supervised probation.
According to the prosecutor’s office, André approached a Mansfield home on December 16, 2018, with a newspaper in a plastic bag. The owner and her two children answered the door, and he asked if she had the paper and when she said no, he left. She then called the police to report the incident.
A police officer responding to the report found Andre in a small Honda SUV. “The officer obtained the license plate, but as he turned around, the accused turned in the opposite direction to which he was reporting and fled, almost causing a collision,” said said the prosecutor’s office.
Andre then went to a house in Easton and attempted to use the same newspaper trick to enter the house. However, the owner did not respond and Andre repeatedly tried all the doors and tried to break down a sliding glass door. The owner called the police and André again fled the officers at high speed, causing a collision a few miles down the road.
The person whose vehicle was struck got out of his car and attempted to help Andre, but then quickly retreated behind his own car when he saw Andre reach for the waistband of his pants. The prosecutor’s office said other people in the area saw Andre pull out a gun.
Police arrived at the scene and saw Andre walking around the corner of a house and when they encountered him he pulled what appeared to be a Glock handgun from his belt – which turned out to be later be a pellet gun – and pointed it at the officers. In turn, they pointed their guns at him.
“(André) said several times that he wanted the police to kill him and accused them. As one of the officers attempted to put distance between himself and the oncoming accused by backing up, he tripped,” the prosecutor’s office said. “The accused then attempted to retrieve the firearm from the officer, causing a physical struggle between him and the accused. This struggle only ended when the other officer shot the accused in the buttocks area. Officers immediately administered first aid to the accused and his life was saved.
According to the prosecutor’s office, André had been released from prison just four months before this incident, after serving a prison sentence linked to a 2014 conviction for two masked armed robberies committed with a similar weapon.
“I am pleased that the jury held the defendant responsible for a series of crimes which included an attempted break-in to a woman’s home, an assault on police with a pellet gun and a run-over in the vehicle of a civilian as he attempted to flee the scene. This case highlights the danger police face every day when confronting violent and uncooperative suspects,” said District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn. III.
“Police clearly felt his life was in danger when the defendant pulled out a pellet gun that looked like a Glock handgun,” Quinn said. “At the time of this incident, the defendant was on probation for armed robbery. The defendant is a career criminal who should be kept off the streets for as long as possible.