Police searching for man who threatened officers with chainsaw

James Matteson is wanted for allegedly threatening police officers with a running chainsaw. (Photo: West Greenwich Police Department)

WEST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) – West Greenwich police are searching for a suspect who threatened several officers with a chainsaw Tuesday night after a fight.

Chief Richard Ramsay said that police responded to a home at 234 Plain Meeting House road at about 7:20 p.m. for a report of a disturbance. When police tried to arrest two men who were involved, a third man, identified as 38-year-old James Matteson, ran out of a garage holding a running chainsaw.

The police officers “were able to hold Matteson at bay while still struggling with one of the men,” Ramsay said, and Matteson dropped the chainsaw and ran into the nearby woods.

Police called for backup from the Coventry Police Department and State Police but weren’t able to find Matteson.

Ramsay said that when found, Matteson will be charged with felony assault on uniformed police officers. He also has two oustanding warrants, for failure to appear on a suspended license charge, and felony arson of a vehicle.

Matteson was described as about 5’9” and 260 pounds, with blue eyes and short brown hair. Anyone who sees him should call the West Greenwich Police Department at 401-397-7191.