Nova Scotia

Magic mushrooms, hatchet seized from hotel room of Bridgewater fugitive

Police seized a hatchet and 23 grams of the hallucinogenic drug magic mushrooms from the hotel room where fugitive Tobias Doucette is accused of trying to murder an officer who was responding to a domestic violence call.

Police still searching for Tobias Doucette four days after officer was stabbed in neck

Police are searching for Tobias Doucette, who is wanted for assault and attempted murder after an incident at the Bridgewater Hotel Monday night. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Police seized a hatchet and 23 grams of the hallucinogenic drug magic mushrooms from the Bridgewater, N.S., hotel room where fugitive Tobias Doucette is accused of trying to kill an officer responding to a domestic violence call Monday night.

The new details are contained in search warrant documents filed this week in provincial court that also allege Doucette choked his common-law partner in the hotel room and that she was bleeding from the nose when police arrived.

Police have said Doucette, who is from Cape Breton but was living in Bridgewater, fled the scene late Monday wearing black shorts and no shoes or shirt. He has managed to elude police ever since, and is accused of stabbing an RCMP dog that was pursuing him at one point.

On Friday, RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said there have been no recent confirmed sightings of the suspect, but police have fielded calls from people who believe they may have spotted Doucette in different parts of the province. She said police suspect someone knows where he is.

"It's been quite a few days now and it makes sense he would have been in touch with someone or would have seen someone or met someone," she said. "We want to give him the opportunity to present himself to us, whether that be through his family, a member of his community or on his own. We want to see this matter resolved peacefully."

Police have said Doucette stands is 6-2, weighs 220 pounds and has brown hair and green eyes. (Submitted by Bridgewater Police Service)

The court records add some details to what happened Monday night at the Bridgewater Hotel on High Street.

Police were alerted by front-desk staff to a "domestic disturbance" in one of the rooms. When Bridgewater Police Service officers arrived, they spoke with Doucette's common-law partner, who told police she'd been choked.

Officers then went to room 228, talked with Doucette through a partially open door and told him he was under arrest. It's then that Doucette "presented an edged weapon," according to court records, and stabbed Sgt. Matthew Bennett in the neck.

The records do not say how Doucette then managed to escape.

A Bridgewater officer obtained a warrant Wednesday to search the hotel room. Aside from the hatchet and magic mushrooms, which police pegged at a value of $750, officers also seized a GoPro camera, some books and paper, a liquor store receipt and some foot cream.

Bennett was taken to hospital in Halifax and underwent surgery on Tuesday. As of Thursday, he was in stable condition and recovering in hospital.

Doucette is facing charges of attempted murder related to the officer, and assault related to his common-law partner.

Police initially said Doucette may have been armed with a knife when he fled, although Clarke said it's not known whether he still has it.

A surveillance plane circled overhead Wednesday as the search for Doucette continued in the Bridgewater area. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

On Tuesday afternoon, he was spotted swimming in the nearby LaHave River. After emerging on the south side of the river, he ran into the woods off Highway 331 in the community of Conquerall Bank, about four kilometres east of Bridgewater.

He was followed into the woods by an RCMP police dog named Fergus who was subsequently stabbed with a stick, suffering from what court records said was a puncture wound. The dog survived.

Clarke told reporters Friday afternoon that police are concerned for Doucette's well-being.

"We are concerned the longer this goes on, it's hard to say if [his well-being] is deteriorating, if he's injured, what his state is. We're trying to reassure him, we've let him know through the media what he's facing," Clarke said.

Clarke said negotiators are available to speak with Doucette. If he chooses to call police or a family member, Clarke said police are willing to "work with him to work out whatever issue he's having so we can resolve this peacefully."

'Call somebody,' friend says

Hannah Johnson, who said she's been a friend of Doucette's since kindergarten, hopes for the same.

"Call somebody and let them know that you're all right, so you can be brought in peacefully," Johnson said.

She said Doucette is capable of being outdoors for long periods of time. She said he spent two winters outdoors building a shelter on Chapel Island.

"He knows how to prepare himself and keep himself safe and warm and finding food in the woods, he's very outdoorsy," she said.

Clarke said Doucette's common-law partner, the injured police officer and the dog are all on the mend.

"I was speaking with Bridgewater police this morning and Sgt. Bennett is recovering. He is doing well. And Bridgewater police also wanted me to pass along that they're very appreciative of all the support and appreciation the community has shown them. It's helping Sgt. Bennett and they really appreciate it," Clarke said.

"For Fergus, he is at home recovering and he's doing well and his handler continues to do well as well. The assault victim, she is recovering as well."

Around 2:30 p.m. Friday, the Bridgewater Police Service sent out a tweet asking the public to avoid the Glen Allan Drive, Aberdeen Street and LaHave Street areas.

At 9:01 p.m., Bridgewater police tweeted those streets have been reopened. They confirmed those streets were closed because of a possible sighting of Doucette.

"A thorough search of the area was conducted and police are now departing the scene and the area is open again to regular traffic," the tweet said.

"Police remind the public to remain aware that Doucette has not been located. We ask the public to continue to report tips or possible sightings of Doucette to police."

With files from Anjuli Patil

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