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Seabrook selectman to be charged with assaulting fellow board member



SEABROOK — Srinivasan “Ravi” Ravikumar, a town selectman, will face a criminal charge in connection with the Sept. 25 altercation between him and Selectwoman Theresa Kyle at Town Hall.

New Hampshire State Police Lt. Joseph Ronchi, commander of Troop A Epping, said police conducted an extensive investigation into what transpired between the two officials.

Kyle claimed during an argument at the September nonpublic meeting, Ravikumar poked her in the face with his finger. Ravikumar, in turn, claimed Kyle tried to strike him and made a racist remark, telling him to go back to where he came from. Ravikumar was born in India. Kyle has claimed she was referring to Andover, Massachusetts, where Ravikumar lived before moving to Seabrook, and not his home country of India.

The result of the police investigation was a warrant being issued for Ravikumar, charging him with simple assault. If convicted, the Class B misdemeanor carries a fine but no jail time, Ronchi said.

Srinivasan “Ravi” Ravikumar

Both Ravikumar and Kyle declined to comment.

State police were asked by the Seabrook Police Department to investigate to avoid any possible appearance of conflict of interest, according to Seabrook Police Chief Brett Walker.

The news of the argument and alleged assault between the two Select Board members spread across the town after it occurred on Sept. 25 at Town Hall. It came after the Board of Selectmen had recessed into a nonpublic meeting from a collective bargaining session with one of the town’s employee unions.

Theresa A. Kyle

Previous story:Two Seabrook selectmen accuse each other of assault after police called to Town Hall

Kyle called the police to report the incident, alleging Ravikumar assaulted her, filing the complaint that initiated the investigation.

Since then, relations between the two have been tense, sometimes erupting into angry words during subsequent Board of Selectmen meetings.

More:Seabrook selectmen meeting cut short over racism claims

State police cite thorough investigation

According to Ronchi, the trooper who conducted the investigations did a thorough job, taking steps to interview all parties, including a number of witnesses. The results led to the state police applying for the warrant, which was granted.

Ronchi said Seabrook police and Ravikumar’s lawyer were called and told of the pending charge. Currently, Ronchi said they’re trying to make arrangements for Ravikumar to surrender himself voluntarily at a day and time that is mutually agreeable to all parties. Ronchi added the place of surrender will not be the Seabrook police station, but it has not been finalized at this time.

After being formally charged, Ronchi said bail conditions will be set. The conditions will be in place at least until the time of a scheduled arraignment at Hampton District Court.

Ronchi said the bail conditions could be problematic for the two board members, who meet frequently in person and in close proximity to each other in the same room.

“Bail conditions often require the parties remain 500 feet apart,” Ronchi said, “but that depends on the bail commissioner.”

Should that happen, Kyle or Ravikumar could still participate in meetings remotely while the other attends the meeting in person along with Selectman Harold Eaton, Ronchi proposed.

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