TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A former Taunton man who tried to break into two homes before attempting to commit “suicide by cop” will serve up to a decade in prison, according to Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III.
Serge Andre, 33, was found guilty of several crimes last week, including assault and battery on a police officer with an attempt to disarm, assault with a dangerous weapon, and attempted breaking and entering.
Quinn said Andre approached a Mansfield home in December 2018 carrying a newspaper in a plastic bag. When the homeowner answered the door, he asked if she’d received the latest edition of the Fall River Herald.
The homeowner told Andre she hadn’t, according to prosecutors, then Andre left. She contacted police to report the strange encounter.
An officer responded to the neighborhood and began searching for Andre, who Quinn said was found at the opposite end of the street sitting inside an SUV. Andre sped off as the officer turned his cruiser around. Quinn said Andre nearly hit the cruiser in the process.
He then drove to a home in Easton, where prosecutors said he tried to get inside “using the thin disguise of holding a paper.”
When the homeowner didn’t answer the door, Andre attempted to open every entrance and even tried kicking in a sliding glass door, according to prosecutors.
The homeowner, who was inside at the time, called the police. Once officers arrived, Quinn said Andre got back into his SUV and drove off.
Andre lost control and crashed into another vehicle a few miles down the road. Prosecutors said the other driver tried to speak with Andre, but took cover when he saw Andre reach for his waistband.
Quinn said officers who responded to the crash saw Andre take cover behind a nearby house and pull what appeared to be a handgun out of his waistband. Andre pointed the gun, which prosecutors said was later determined to be a pellet gun, at police and repeatedly urged them to kill him.
Prosecutors said Andre charged the officers at one point, causing one of them to trip while backing up. Andre then attempted to grab the officer’s firearm, according to Quinn.
The two struggled on the ground briefly before another officer shot Andre.
Andre was sentenced to serve up to 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised probation.
“This case highlights the danger the police face every day when they confront violent and uncooperative suspects,” Quinn said. “The police were clearly justified in feeling their lives were in jeopardy when the defendant pulled out a pellet gun that looked like a Glock handgun.”
Quinn said Andre had been released from prison just four months prior to this incident. He had previously been convicted in 2014 of committing two separate armed robberies, during which he carried a lookalike handgun.