Jon KelveyJon KelveyContact Reporter
Carroll County Times
Manchester Chief disarms man allegedly holding two at gun point
The chief of the Manchester Police Department was in his front yard Monday when a neighbor told him of a nearby situation on Bachman Road involving one man pointing a gun at two other men.
Chief John Hess was the first law enforcement officer on the scene of the dispute, which ended with charges being filed but without anyone being hurt, according to charging documents and the chief.
Charged is James Everett Cooper, 57, of the 2900 block of Bachman Road, who is facing two counts of first degree assault, two counts of second degree assault, four counts of reckless endangerment, two counts of possession of a dangerous weapon with intent to injure and related charges, according to electronic court files.
It would turn out the two men were on Cooper's property to repossess a camper when Cooper allegedly intervened, gun in hand, according to charging documents.
Just after 3 p.m. on Monday, Manchester police responded to Cooper's home after receiving a report of a man with a gun holding two others outside the home, according to charging documents. The responding officer arrived to find Chief Hess holding Cooper and the two other men at gunpoint, according to charging documents.
Hess was able to control the potentially volatile situation before other officers arrived.
"It was a potentially deadly situation and I am just glad we were able to de-escalate it," he said.
The chief said he could not comment on the case in any detail because he is a primary witness, though he did say he was glad no one was injured.
Hess had been in the front yard of his own residence when a neighbor approached and told him two men were being held at gun point on Bachman Road, according to charging documents. Hess, the documents say, responded to find Cooper allegedly pointing a handgun at two men who were on their knees in the road in front of a home.
Hess identified himself as a police officer, told Cooper to drop his handgun, and when Cooper responded with skepticism about Hess's identity, Hess displayed his badge, according to charging documents. Hess then repeated his order for Cooper to drop the handgun three more times before Cooper complied, according to charging documents.
The two men who had been held at gun point identified themselves as property repossessors and showed police their repossessors licenses and the legal documentation necessary to repossess a camper in Cooper's driveway, according to charging documents.
The two repossessors told police they had backed their vehicle into the driveway in order to connect and secured the camper for repossession when they saw Cooper come out of his front door with a handgun, according to charging documents.
Cooper allegedly pointed the gun at the two and ordered them to get out of their vehicle and lie on the ground, according to charging documents.
A witness who was driving on Bachman Road later told police she had seen a man pointing a gun at two men on the ground, and that the man had told her to, "Get out of the line of fire," according to charging documents.
The firearm recovered from the ground after Cooper dropped it was a Heckler and Koch P7 semiautomatic pistol, according to charging documents. It is not registered to Cooper but was also was not reported as being stolen; charging documents also say the gun was loaded.
Cooper was arrested on the scene and was being held Tuesday at the Carroll County Detention center on $350,000 bail, according to electronic court files.