Court room

Inside Windham Superior Court, Criminal Division.

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BELLOWS FALLS — A Bellows Falls man described as being homeless was released on conditions after pleading not guilty to felony charges of drug possession and misdemeanor charges of assaulting police officers.

Jeffrey Matteson, 27, was arrested on Town Meeting Day on Westminster Street, after he caused numerous incidents in downtown Bellows Falls earlier that morning.

According to affidavits filed in Windham Superior Court, Matteson was walking or dancing in various roads, harassing people at Halladay’s the Florist by pounding on the window, and blocking the entrance to Riverview Apartments.

An affidavit by Bellows Falls Police Chief David Bemis said that he and Officer Jillian Cenate spoke to Matteson at several different locations. Police said he appeared intoxicated or high on drugs, as he was stopping traffic, swearing and talking to himself, first at the Penguin Market and then later in The Square in Bellows Falls.

Police eventually arrested Matteson after he was in the road and caused a disturbance.

In the process of taking him into custody, Matteson became combative, and injured both Bemis and Cenate, who reported they had minor injuries. Matteson also threatened to “slit her throat” in a statement to Cenate.

Although court documents list an address on Morgan Street in Bellows Falls, Bemis said this week that Matteson had “no fixed address” and was essentially homeless. He has listed addresses in Athens and Springfield, as well as Bellows Falls in the past.

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While police were trying to take Matteson into custody and get him out of the road, he and Bemis ended up on the road, and drugs, including pill bottles and glassine envelopes and a glass pipe, fell out of Matteson’s pockets.

Police reported that a felony amount of fentanyl was taken from Matteson’s person, as well as a felony amount of cocaine.

Police called for help from Walpole, N.H., Police Department to arrest Matteson.

Bemis said this week that Matteson was arraigned and released on conditions.

“We got banged up a little,” Bemis said of their injuries, but he said that both he and Cenate declined medical attention.

“He was throwing himself into the window and then stepping into traffic on Westminster Street,” Bemis said of Matteson. “We had been dealing with him for a couple of days.”

Contact Susan Smallheer at