, Salem, MA

January 18, 2014

Danvers man held on gun, threats charges


---- — DANVERS — Police seized a half-dozen guns, two hatchets and a machete and have charged a Danvers man with threatening to kill his girlfriend and her son during an argument late Thursday night.

John Cashman, 50, of 77 Dayton St., pleaded not guilty to a total of 11 counts, including charges of attempted murder and multiple counts of improper storage of a firearm, during his arraignment yesterday in Salem District Court.

Judge Robert Brennan ordered Cashman held without bail pending a hearing into whether he poses a danger if released. Brennan also granted Cashman’s girlfriend and son a restraining order barring him from any contact with them for a year.

Police were called to the home shortly after 11 p.m. by Cashman’s girlfriend.

She said that Cashman had returned home earlier in the evening. When she told him about an award her son, 18, had been given, Cashman reacted angrily, referring to the son as a “loser” and smashing a light.

When the woman stuck up for her son, Cashman allegedly picked her up, carried her to the teen’s bedroom, and told both to stay in the room or they would die.

The woman said she believed Cashman, who had a Class A firearms license that expired last month, was carrying a loaded Ruger handgun at the time, and was in fear. She described earlier incidents in which Cashman had allegedly threatened her with a running chainsaw and told her he would kill her with a blow to the back of her head with an axe.

The woman also said that at one point, Cashman pinned her to the floor with his knee, leaving a large bruise on her chest.

The teen showed police where Cashman stored his guns, a collection that included two shotguns, three .22 caliber rifles, and the Ruger. While attempting to find one gun, police also discovered the hatchets and machete under a sofa.

Cashman was arrested after turning himself in at the Danvers police station shortly after 2 a.m.

The woman and her son were taken to a local motel for the night for their own safety.

The hearing on whether Cashman is a danger is scheduled for next Friday.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.