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October 29, 2012

Manchester cop arrested on abuse, gun charges

BEVERLY — Beverly police arrested a Manchester-by-the-Sea police sergeant after a Friday night domestic disturbance, uncovering a large cache of weapons in the process.

Police responded to 15 Devon Ave. around midnight Friday after a report of a domestic disturbance involving a shot fired from a gun, according to a statement released by police on Saturday night.

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 press release.

Police said the victim had been arguing with Swallow, who left the room and returned with a silver Ruger handgun, which he pointed at the victim. According to the victim, he then pointed the gun at a dog in the room, stating he was going to kill the animal.

According to the release, “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, 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 and 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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