Northampton police arrest Leeds man who tried to unholster officer’s gun during scuffle at Thornes
NORTHAMPTON — A Leeds man who led police on a chase through Thornes Marketplace Thursday afternoon was arrested after a scuffle in which he unsuccessfully tried to unholster an officer’s gun.
Casey Howard, 27, of 145 Water St., was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, assault and battery on a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, possession with intent to distribute a class D drug (marijuana) and possession of a class A drug (Suboxone).
The incident began shortly after 5 p.m. when an officer on foot patrol approached Howard and another man for what police describe as suspicious drug-related activity. Howard ran away from the officer, who chased him throughout the shopping mall before catching him outside the entrance to Cornucopia on the lower level, Lt. Jody Kasper said.
The officer and the man fought for 3 or 4 minutes before other officers arrived, during which time Howard allegedly tried to remove the officer’s gun from its holster. While doing so, a BB handgun tucked inside the waistband of Howard’s pants fell onto the floor.
Many witnesses watching the fight thought it was the officer’s gun, but Kasper said Howard was not able to remove that gun.
The second man did not flee and refused to help Howard during the fight. He faces no charges, police said.
— CHAD CAIN