Former Pelham Police Chief Edward Fleury arrested on firearms charges after allegedly pointing gun at man outside Belchertown VFW



Last modified: Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — Former Pelham Police Chief Edward Fleury was arrested and arraigned last week in Eastern Hampshire District Court on firearms charges after he allegedly pointed a gun at another man outside VFW Post 8428 in Belchertown during August.

Fleury, 57, of Pelham, pleaded innocent Thursday to one count of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of carrying a licensed firearm while under the influence of liquor. Fleury was released on personal recognizance with the conditions that he stay away and have no contact with the victim, stay away from the VFW in Belchertown and relinquish custody of his firearms, rifles and shotguns while the case is pending. He is scheduled to return to court for a pretrial conference Oct. 10.

This is the latest of at least three incidents in 11 years involving Fleury and guns that have drawn public attention. He served as Pelham police chief from 1991 until 2009.

Peter Teraspulsky of Pelham told current Pelham Police Chief Gary Thomann that he had gone to the parking lot at the VFW about midnight Aug. 2 with another person when Fleury joined the conversation, according to court records.

Teraspulsky alleges that at some point during this conversation, Fleury drew what appeared to be a black .40-caliber Glock handgun, pointed it at him and activated its red laser sight, which he centered on Teraspulsky’s chest, according to court records.

Teraspulsky told Belchertown police he was not sure if Fleury had his finger on the trigger, and that even though he did not believe his life was in danger he felt nervous that the gun was pointed at his chest, according to court records.

Teraspulsky told Belchertown police that Fleury had been consuming beer the entire night in “tall beer glasses,” according to court records.

Fleury could not be reached for comment Monday. A voice message left Monday for Teraspulsky at his home phone number was not returned.

Following an investigation by Belchertown Police Detective John F. Raymer Jr. that began Aug. 6, Fleury was arrested Thursday at the Pelham police station and taken to Belchertown for booking. Belchertown Police Chief Francis Fox Jr. could not be reached for comment Monday.

Two bartenders at the VFW Monday evening referred questions about the incident to Commander George ”Archie” Archible, who declined comment when questioned Monday night.

In 2011, Fleury was acquitted in Hampden Superior Court on charges of involuntary manslaughter and three counts of furnishing a machine gun to a minor. The charges were brought against Fleury and two Connecticut men after an 8-year-old Connecticut boy accidentally shot and killed himself with a machine gun at a firearms exhibition in Westfield in 2008 that Fleury organized. Fleury resigned as Pelham police chief about a month after those charges were filed against him.

In 2003, while teaching a firearms safety class in Pelham, Fleury unintentionally fired a gun, not realizing it was loaded, and sent a bullet through the wall of the community center and into a steel door frame. He wrote a public apology in the wake of that incident.

Dan Crowley can be reached at dcrowley@gazettenet.com. Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.


 


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