Farmington police give details on arrest involving toy gun

FARMINGTON — Police responded to public comments Monday with more details on the arrest of a Farmington man Thursday night after he walked around downtown with a toy gun tucked into his pants.

Submitted Photo

John Cushman

"I'm cognizant of the fact people are allowed to carry handguns by their 2nd Amendment constitutional rights," police Chief Jack Peck said Monday of the comments. "But, we have to look at the overall safety of people visiting and residing in the town of Farmington."

John Cushman, 20, was arrested on a felony charge of terrorizing after Sgt. Edward Hastings notified Assistant District Attorney James Andrews, who advised him that there was ample probable cause to arrest him, Peck said.

A Homestead Bakery employee called police about 9:50 p.m. Thursday saying an adult male with a handgun tucked in his shorts was walking around town and was last seen heading for The Roost pub.

Officer William Tanner went to The Roost on Main Street but couldn't find him. He spoke with employees who had already received a call from the employee at Homestead, Peck said.

Patrons sitting in the outdoor patio area were asked to leave that area but police did not direct that the bar be locked down, Peck said.

Tanner continued to search around downtown but didn't find the man described. 

Later, Tanner was on Broadway in his cruiser when he saw Cushman with something tucked in his shorts and two guys following him. 

A witness stopped and asked Tanner if he knew about the guy walking around with a gun in his shorts, Peck said.

Earlier in the evening, the witness asked Cushman what he was doing. Cushman responded that he was just watching out for police. The witness found it odd and suspicious, Peck said.

Tanner continued to search for him but didn't find him. At 12:15 a.m. Friday, The Roost called asking for an officer to stand by the door so patrons and employees could leave because they were afraid.

When Tanner arrived at the Main Street door, he saw the witness and Cushman sitting in front of Dunkin' Donuts.  When he got out of his cruiser, he realized it was a fake gun, Peck said.

He saw the witness take the gun from Cushman's lap and then heard him say to Cushman, "this isn't a joke, this is for real," Peck said Tanner's report revealed.

The witness asked Cushman what he was doing with the gun and Cushman responded that he "likes to go to Prescott Field and shoot things," Peck said Tanner reported.

When asked why he didn't leave it at home, Cushman told the witness he paid $30 for it and wanted to carry it. The witness then offered him $40 for it and Cushman pushed him in the face. The officer intervened between the two, according to the police report, Peck said.

Police Detective Marc Bowering arrived and informed Tanner of a previous interaction with Cushman in June.

Police were called in June by a case worker who said Cushman wanted to die of suicide by cop, Peck said. When police responded, Cushman told them he intended to commit suicide by getting a gun and waving it around until police shot him. He voluntarily went to Franklin Memorial Hospital for an evaluation. There was no crime so he was left with hospital personnel, Peck said.

Tanner asked Cushman on Thursday night if he felt suicidal and Cushman responded no but he said he did feel homicidal. He told police he wanted to kill the witness, Peck said Tanner wrote in his report.

"If you find him dead tonight you can look at me," Cushman was quoted in Tanner's report, Peck said.

Police asked Cushman to go to the hospital for an evaluation and he agreed. The emergency room doctor spoke to him but then released him without an evaluation, Peck said.

Hastings then called the assistant district attorney, who advised him there was cause for an arrest and Cushman was taken to Franklin County Detention Center, Peck said.

abryant@sunjournal.com

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Comments

FRANK EARLEY's picture

It just amazes me.......

This twenty year old individual, is arrested for basically his own protection. The guy has serious problems, he has stated he wants to die by suicide by cop. Now he states he's homicidal. Basically he has made two separate threats. One to kill himself using an innocent police officer who will have to live with that for the rest of his life. He also he wants to kill the witness, who I'm assuming knows the guy.
I do believe the hospital could have done more to help, but I think we're way past determining if this guy had a right to carry a toy gun. He was plain, old fashioned nuts. he needed to be arrested..............

The hospital failed Cushman .

A good article because it explains why he was arrested. Obviously the hospital failed him so the police had no choice but to arrest him for his own safety. Hopefully he will the psychiatric care he needs.

Ken Perry's picture

Still an abuse

Just walking with a gun real or not does not constitute the right to stop and or detain anyone. The cop knew it was not real and it still sounds like they pushed until they "had reason" to stop him. the cop approached even when he said he knew it was a toy. Did the cop ask the DA about charging the employee for locking in the patrons?
And quote "When Tanner arrived at the Main Street door, he saw the witness and Cushman sitting in front of Dunkin' Donuts. When he got out of his cruiser, he realized it was a fake gun, Peck said.

He saw the witness take the gun from Cushman's lap and then heard him say to Cushman, "this isn't a joke, this is for real," Peck said Tanner's report revealed.

The witness asked Cushman what he was doing with the gun and Cushman responded that he "likes to go to Prescott Field and shoot things," Peck said Tanner reported.

When asked why he didn't leave it at home, Cushman told the witness he paid $30 for it and wanted to carry it. The witness then offered him $40 for it and Cushman pushed him in the face. The officer intervened between the two, according to the police report, Peck said." he saw the witness take the gun, (is this not theft or robbery)? so he witnessed what started the altercation, this is still not right!! He was set up by the witness and the cop just watched.. The witness had no right to touch the guys personal property, had no right to question the guy. And why did the cop just stand there then and watch the witness "take" the toy gun and start questioning this guy? So it now seems the farmington pd encourage vigilante justice? Sounds like small town cops just looking for some action at the expense of someone else especially since they were aware of Mental health issues. So wrong on so many levels, but, this is how they roll and if they had shot him and another two or three people we all know that it would "have been justified" in the end. Stay clear of farmington would be my recommendation to anyone, cops will watch someone take your stuff and if you push them you will be arrested and charged as the "bad guy".

Steve  Dosh's picture

Guns ? 

Mainers, 19:01 hst Monday
http://www.hawaiiantel.net/news/read/category/Top%20News/article/ap-2_pe...
hth , Steve , Hawai'i

Randall Pond's picture

What is it With Farmington these days?

Do you People not know how to help your Mentally Ill People?

Really Seriously? I see an Excellent LCPC in Farmington by the name of Kirt Woodman of Mind Body Works. I have a Excellent Success with him in the 10 plus years I have worked with him. Yet, our Wonderful Governor and one's Before him as well as the Wonderful Congress of Both Parties, Want to continue to take away Services from those that Desperately Need them!

I hope Mr. Cushman will get the help he needs. Jail isn't the Answer. Medications and Counseling Is. This is a Clear Cry for Help, People.

WAKE UP AND DIE RIGHT!

If the People in Livermore Falls had done that 28 years ago. Mario DeSoto would be Still alive and not Dead from Suicide as well as many others that have done it.

Do We Not Care about our Mentally Ill People anymore?

RONALD RIML's picture

So he's a few McNuggets short of a 'Happy Meal'

all while Flaunting a Faux Firearm. Fantabulous!!!

ERNEST LABBE's picture

Thank you

Thank you now the reason he was arrested makes sense.

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