Violence in Central Square – Attacker Identified (UPDATED)


Do you know this man?

Early last evening in Central Square, a troubling act of violence occurred when a local man, Matthew Oldershaw, known to many as ‘Yankee’, was shoved into the granite fountain and sustained head trauma. This occurred while Yankee was conversing near the fountain with business owner Dorrie O’Meara. An unknown man wearing a blue t-shirt and a Boston Red Sox baseball cap (now believed to be James Michael Phillips) was identified by witnesses in shaky footage from the scene as the aggressor. The man remained on the square several minutes after the attack, associating with another man wearing a bandana under a backwards cap who threatened those holding cameras and claimed ‘gang affiliations’ (since identified as Justin Paquette of Keene). Yankee was taken away on a stretcher and has since been moved to a hospital outside of Keene for additional treatment. Four KPD units responded, and left the scene without making any arrests. Images of the man have been published by Keene Peaceful Streets. Do you know who this man is, photographed smiling as he walks away after sending another person to the emergency room? What is additionally a sad reflection on society in Keene is the indifference displayed by some bystanders to a seriously injured person laying wounded in front of them. Some people can be seen casually pouring water on nearby chalkings at the same time that friends of the injured person are sobbing for someone to call an ambulance.


Bandana-wearing man claimed ‘gang affiliations’ and grabbed at cameras of bystanders. The perpetrator of the assault (wearing the blue t-shirt) that sent Yankee to the hospital smirks behind him. UPDATE: Bandana man has since been identified as Justin Paquette of Keene.


Smiling before leaving the Square, the attacker wandered off prior to the arrival of Keene police.


Yankee is assisted by friends and bystanders as police and EMTs arrive.

Today’s unfortunate violence comes less than a day following a violent assault involving multiple people the night prior which fortunately left no one injured, but resulted in the theft of one person’s keys, camera, and cell phone. Video of that incident was shared last evening by Keene Peaceful Streets. More complete reports on these incidents are being assembled as footage sourced from various witnesses are uploaded.

UPDATE: Multiple sources are reporting that the man believed to have committed the violent assault last evening in Central Square is James Michael Phillips of Keene.

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  1. So where’s the open carry crowd when you need them?

  2. Reap what you sow.

  3. Where was susan Bruce Brandie and Andrea. They all said to care about community. They all said Keene is peaceful

    Why didn’t the cop prevent violence. Oh I forgot the supremes said cops are not responsible for your safety. It was the case of two women being raped repeatedly and the cops were called many times but didn’t bother

    Seems like argument for guns ownership that susan Bruce opposes

  4. I have no idea who the guy was. He came onto the square with Dorrie, and it looked to me as if he was just waiting to attack. I’m guessing that it was pre-planned to some extend. The assault itself was brutal, the animal in question took a running start and hit Yankee as hard as he could in the chest, propelling him backward into the fountain, causing not only head trauma but also bodily injuries and a severe neck injury … possibly a broken neck. It looks like the charge on this guy will probably be aggrevated assault or attempted murder.

  5. is it true that dorrie omeara know the perps name but is protecting him from beong brought to justice

  6. ‘the only one sewing violence is the sfk crew

  7. May all you Free Keeners live a long and very painful life. I believe Rich Paul attacked Yankee and this is a set up to frame an innocent person.

  8. You could have killed Yankee you monster

  9. You’re working for Stop Free Keene David

  10. I moved here thinking Keene was safe. Looks like I will need to be sure I am carrying from now on.

  11. I don’t think free Keeners would sue but Susan Bruce Andrea and Brandie are worried now that Yankees condition is severe and the medical cost will shoot up.

    Regardless of what he did nobody has the right to initiate force unless threatened and from your description unknown man is the aggressor. If he’s part of STOP FREE KEENE!!! theyre going to erase evidences and dig a deeper hole

  12. According to Rich this should be considered “aggravated assault,” yet when a man was just walking through the park, trying to leave to avoid confrontation with Free Keene, Rich’s use of a weapon to taunt and threaten him was “self defense” Mariah preemptively hitting the men crossing the street was “self defense” even though the man had expressly told her he would not hit her. You’ve all tried to spin it like those people were in the wrong for crossing the street to come near you guys, when you brought six or more people to the common where a man was peacefully cleaning to confront him with weapons, and yet you guys are still the victims in this?

    In the common yesterday those men were peacefully cleaning and Free Keene, again, chose to come to the square and start a confrontation. Yankee assaulted a woman and the man who pushed him was pushing him off of the woman. Of course had Rich hit someone with the weapon (he very well may have, the video was very shaky) you all wouldn’t have characterized that as aggravated assault.

    When you heard Yankee ranting about how he “needed” the confrontation that happened Monday night, why didn’t you nip that in the bud then and there? Tell him if he can’t cool it he should stay away? Yankee was thrilled to fight the night before, laid hands on a woman yesterday afternoon, and was injured as a result of a man’s defense of that woman.

    At what point does Free Keene, Robin Hood, and all their affiliated groups take a step back and take responsibility for the violence they’re intentionally inciting?

  13. I believe that you can find fault in both sides of this. So also ask at what point will SKF take a step back and think about their roll in this is.

  14. So when you stalked after people with a night stick you weren’t pre-planning to hit someone with it? You weren’t looking for a fight? You didn’t put people on the defense by showing up when people were being peaceful and cleaning with a small army of people and a weapon? The only animal I see here is you with your constant bullying of everyone in this town. Yankee was seeking violent confrontation as well. He was ranting and raving that he “needed” the fight that took place on Monday night, gloating about it, obviously ready for more, and yet you all thought it was appropriate to bring him back around to confront more peaceful cleaners the next day? You all were looking for a loose canon with nothing to lose to be a martyr for your cause so you wouldn’t have to be the ones to get hurt. You found him.

  15. I believe that guns in this matter would have made it worst, People don’t need to loose their life over this.

  16. So Yankee putting his hands on a woman wasn’t aggressive? If you saw a man assaulting a woman you’d leave her to defend herself?

  17. Nope, there’s very interesting video proving otherwise. Here’s direct video of the attack from what appears to be Yankee holding a cell phone camera:

    And here’s video evidence that Dorrie appears to know the person This felony assault/attempted murder suspect also was involved in an altercation on the scene the previous night:

  18. Oh yeah, a gun would’ve made this SOOOOOO much better.

    Are those women supposed to pitch a tent and move into the common?

  19. I’m not a street thug who has any skill at street fighting. I’m an old guy with health problems. If some thug is going to cause me severe injury or death just for standing in a park, it is my right and duty to defend myself. Granted, it looks like the victim was pushed from behind by the coward thug, so opportunity for defense here is limited. But, I can only do what I can.

  20. The suspect is carrying a bucket, was seen to be dumping water on the chalk art, and appears to know Dorrie. So he may be involved in the officially City of Keene sanctioned cleanup efforts by the Monadnock Community Coalition d/b/a STOP FREE KEENE!!!. But the MCC appears not to be a registered corporation with the State of New Hampshire, so the people who run MCC/SFK!!! would probably be legally liable as natural persons via any civil torts that may arise from this felony assault/attempted murder.

    Kim Diemond, any comment on the legal ramifications for your group, Dorrie, and the City of Keene? I know you’re good at this stuff.

  21. No…Keene is not a scene in a spaghetti western. You have this attitude then I suggest you change or use your power in more just fashion

  22. I understand what your saying I just think if a gun was pulled last night it would have been much worst and not solved any issues I think it would have caused more issues. It is sad that this has turned into violence. We don’t need people killed over this.

  23. You got me I’m gonna backpedal and say no to guns now right

    No man

    I’m a constitutionalist and guns is part of my argument. In this case its a deterrence

    You would pummel a guy for putting his hands but not carry a gun to protect women or your family?

  24. Oh I agree. My first thing I do is situational awareness…. I was not there but if it looked like people were gathering in an area with anger level increasing, I have no reason to be there, so I won’t. 95% of problems can be avoided that way.

  25. If Yankee shot unidentified man he wouldn’t be fighting for his life. The constitution doesn’t guarantee safety only liberty.

  26. You could be right he might not be fighting for his life right now, the unidentified man’s friend could have shot him then we would have two dead people. Guns are not the solution to the problem. I’m not saying I don’t support the 2nd amendment, I’m just saying a gun could have made this even worst and it’s not the answer.

  27. Let’s see how far Free Keene wants to take this.

  28. We differ where you think guns shouldn’t be in certain situation. I generally just pull off all stops on safety and let people be civil. If we kill each other then there wouldn’t be 7 billions of us.

    If I agree with you then I think guns make people do stupid things. Its just a thing

  29. No anger & fear make people do stupid things, Guns don’t make people do things

  30. Lets not, one person has already been hurt and that’s one too many.

  31. MCC is not a corporation – it is just a name for a loosely formed group of citizens that is
    coordinating efforts to clean up the streets of Keene – and they hold no
    responsibility for the actions and behaviors of anyone; individually or
    collectively. The individuals who were washing down the common in these
    photos are not even affiliated with MCC clean -up efforts – there are a number
    of individuals that are taking it upon themselves to clean who are not
    necessarily a part of any group. The common is a public area that the “chalkers”
    are trying to use as their personal space – MCC is trying to keep the area a
    common space – not a playground for adults who want to draw on the sidewalk.

    The chalkers are deliberately putting themselves in bad situations – and you know full well that is because they WANT to start conflict – they are ITCHING for a fight – and hide behind “self-defense” as an excuse to be aggressive against others without
    taking any personal responsibility for their actions. This is a “he/she started it” mentality that should have been abandoned in grade school. Words cannot even express my disappointment with everyone involved in the situation including the antagonistic chalkers and the man who injured Yankee. If people continue to antagonize the public –
    they are going to end up in more and more situations like this – because not
    everyone is going to be peaceful and neither FK nor SFK is going to be able to
    stop that because people will generally do as they please – especially in the
    heat of the moment. My suggestion for everyone involved is that if you don’t want to get burned –don’t set fires. Use common sense – and learn how to
    DE-ESCALATE situations that arise that become aggressive in nature – or people
    are bound to get hurt, as evidenced by yesterday’s events.

    I hope this is a lesson to everyone that this is not a harmless game of tit for tat. Someone was senselessly injured yesterday and both FK and SFK should be standing in support of the members of each group that are not participating in the antagonism or the aggression– not trying to figure out what group is to blame .

    I hope that Yankee is alright. His health and well-being should be the ONLY focus right now.

  32. How does it not surprise me that Dorrie was there? She seems to think she owns keene. I bet she didn’t lift a finger to help the injured person.

  33. They fear free Keeners because they’re peaceful. Then it turns to hatred and anger like Yoda said

    Just look at susan Bruce if you want to find evidence for a gigantic ball of fear. She should stop listening watching msm fearfests

  34. Just caused you said it ain’t doesn’t mean you may not be responsible. There are criteria to judge whether you’re liable and the web footprints are everywhere. People will be compelled to testify

    Its hard to believe Yankee wont do a thing about this. Wishing him well doesn’t change a thing

  35. Or, perhaps, if there were obviously armed, the thug might not have tried to kill Yankee, and /no one/ would have been injured, let alone killed.

  36. It seems that only a handful
    out of the maybe 2 dozen that were in the square stopped to assist the injured person. Video shows the City of Keene/MCC/SFK!!! authorized chalk censorship crew continuing to pour water on the sidewalks.

  37. So you’re saying MCC isn’t a legal corporation and went ahead and made an agreement, acting as a corporation, with the City of Keene? Interesting.

  38. So their priority was cleaning chalk smiley faces off the sidewalk, instead of helping an injured person. That disgusts me, as a community member. Dorrie herself, I know her a little bit, and she is no example of a good person. She deliberately causes confrontations either in person or on the sidelines.

  39. No – that is not at all what I said at all – and your narrow focus on an arbitrary matter in light of all that has transpired is a clear indication that you are an antagonist as well. I would however suggest that those that live in glass houses not throw stones.

  40. Guesy, I was not even there – and I am not at all impressed with Yankee for a variety of reasons, however I will certainly wish him well whether that changes anything or not. Please understand that JayFreeKeene is trying to elicit anxiety and fear into those who are associated with MCC or SFK!!! even though there is no basis for what he is saying- he is throwing things out there to see what might stick as a passive-aggressive way to attack his opponents. It’s classic. Textbook – and should quite frankly be ignored.

  41. You’re basically making a very weak argument against having the second amendment at all. How lame. Having a visible gun on his hip probably would have prevented any violence from occurring at all. Why can’t you see that and argue for that?

  42. Actually, you are saying you don’t support the 2nd amendment. Guns are a deterrent first and foremost and you’re just glossing right over that fact. Very weak.

  43. So Dorrie is claiming he was going to assault her, so what was done was in defense of her.

  44. What a baby, FK has provoked the community for years and now it is starting to come back and bite them. I’m honestly surprised it took this long and it’s not over yet. Some people are simply unable to learn a lesson without a good thumping. Perhaps this little twit will think twice before defacing a memorial again.
    I have NO/ZERO/NADA/ZILCH affiliation with SFK, I simply support their mission from afar.

  45. If he really did grab her arm, then he assaulted her. Is that in dispute? You are the one that posted the link to the newspaper article that described the assault.

  46. He is not being charged with assault, and it’s all alleged. There is video of the incident, did you watch it?

  47. “She deliberately causes confrontations either in person or on the sidelines.”

    Stay tuned, there’s some interesting evidence to be posted in this felony assault/attempted murder case shortly.


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