GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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October 29, 2012

Manchester sergeant facing assault, weapons charges

A Manchester town police sergeant is facing a series of assault and weapons charges after Beverly police arrested him after a Friday night domestic disturbance in that city, uncovering a large cache of weapons in the process.

According to Beverly police, officers responded to 15 Devon Ave. at about midnight Friday after a report of a domestic disturbance involving a shot fired from a gun, according to a statement issued by the Beverly Police Department.

According to the release, officers arrived on the scene to find the altercation over and John “Jay” Swallow, a sergeant with the Manchester Police Department, outside on the sidewalk.

Swallow told police “I don’t want to hurt you guys,” and was handcuffed without incident, according to the release.

Police said the alleged victim had been arguing with Swallow, who left the room and returned with a silver Ruger handgun, which he pointed at the victim.

The victim told police that Swallow then pointed the gun at a dog in the room, stating he was going to kill the animal.

According to the police, “the victim asked Swallow to leave but when he refused, the victim pushed past him and went to the neighbor’s house.”

“As the victim was walking outside,” police reported, “a single gunshot was heard inside the house. Swallow told officers that the gun had accidentally discharged while he was en route to put it away.”

Officers seized weapons from the home, including 16 handguns, 11 rifles, eight shotguns, a large amount of ammunition and four samurai swords.

According to Beverly police, Swallow is charged with assault & battery, assault with a dangerous weapon, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, witness intimidation, and three firearms security violations.

Swallow is one of four sergeants in the Manchester Police Department, which includes 14 full-time officers, including Chief Glenn McKiel.

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