West Springfield Police Chief: Pipe bomb suspect suffering from PTSD

Robert Decoteau III is a 20-day mental evaluation

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Less than 24 hours after Robert Decoteau III led police on a chase in West Springfield, with four pipe bombs in his truck, Police Chief Ronald Campurciani is commending his officers for how well they handled the situation.

Chief Campurciani said, “It was probably 80, 90 miles per hour at some point, and then the truck started to slow down and the pipe bombs were coming out the window; and then the truck slowed down to 60, and then to 50 then to 40 then to 20. So you start getting that sense, is he going to start throwing these bombs out the window.”

The truck was pulled over in a section of Route 5 in West Springfield. Chief Campurciani told 22News how many people in that area would have been affected if those four bombs did in fact go off; “There was black powder in these pipe bombs; there were also some bullets. Anybody within 100 yards at least would have been affected in some way by this.”

Decoteau spent 5 years in the marines, and reportedly suffers from PTSD. Now some are asking what more can be done to help with the tough transition some veterans face after coming home from war.

Steven Connor from Central Hampshire Veterans Services said, “Some people are able to go through that transition and move on. Sometimes it gets to the point where it was so extreme, affected the veteran so much that they don’t let go of it.”

Decoteau is charged with possession of explosives and two counts of threat to bomb. He will undergoing a 20-day mental evaluation at Bridgwater State Hospital. The next hearing in the case is schedule for May 19th.

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