Pre-Christmas search for man with ‘long gun’ ends

By Shaun Moriarty
Citizen Chronicle Writer
shaun@thecitizenchronicle.com

SPENCER — More than one month after allegedly violating a restraining order and fleeing into the woods with a “long gun,” Stephen Patchen turned himself in to authorities this morning.

Accompanies by his attorney, Patchen arrived at the Western Worcester District Court in East Brookfield at approximately 9:00 a.m., according to a release by the Spencer Police Department this afternoon. Authorities said that upon his appearance in court, Patchen was held for a dangerousness hearing at a later date.

Patchen, whose last known address had been reported to be in Warren, had been sought by police since December 17 with numerous agencies involved. Late that afternoon, about one week before Christmas, Spencer Police had been dispatched to 173 Paxton Road for a report of a violation of a 209A domestic restraining order. Upon arrival, contemporary police reports state, officers were informed Patchen had an active warrant for a previous violation of a restraining order. The 38-year-old man was said to be “armed with a long gun and made threats to harm himself and then fled into the woods on foot,” police reported. The Spencer Police Department utilized its social media presence to alert the community of an “armed man that fled in woods” along Paxton Road. Soon after, the State Police was utilized to aid local authorities in their search for Patchen, including the use of the State Police Air Wing and K-9 team. As the day unfolded, the Central Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (CEMLEC) Swat Team and other area police departments joined the search for Patchen, who was said to be dressed in camouflage clothing. After nearly five hours, the initial search was called off with no success, and officials reported they believed Patchen “to be a danger only to himself at this time.”

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