EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 9, 2013

No charges in orchard gun incident

By Doug Ireland

---- — LONDONDERRY — Police will not bring charges against two men involved in a confrontation in the Mack’s Apples parking lot, where one allegedly pulled out a gun.

Londonderry police prosecutor Kevin Coyle said Monday there was not enough evidence to file charges in the case.

The confrontation occurred at about 3 p.m. on Sept. 14 when Douglas Pawl, 30, of Manchester apparently took another driver’s parking spot near the farmstand, according to police Lt. Timothy Jones.

Gerald O’Brien, 54, of Derry became upset and approached Pawl, Jones said. O’Brien told police that Pawl pulled out a .22-caliber handgun while still sitting in his car, Jones said.

O’Brien started yelling, “Gun, gun, gun,” frightening some of the approximately 100 customers present, farm manager Mike Cross said.

Customers ducked into the building for safety, Cross said. People were confused and didn’t know what was happening, he said.

Several people, including an employee and O’Brien, called 911. Six police cruisers and numerous heavily armed officers arrived at the Mammoth Road business within minutes, Cross said. The farmstand was locked down for a brief period.

Police removed Pawl from the car and handcuffed him, Jones said. Pawl was petting his dog in the car and waiting for his wife to return from buying apples when police arrived, Cross said.

Jones said it took a while for police to investigate the incident because the received differing accounts from the two men. He said at the time that police were considering charges against both men.

After interviewing several witnesses, Coyle said, police were not able to confirm Pawl threatened O’Brien with the gun. Pawl did not violate any weapons laws by having a gun in his car, Coyle said.

“It is not illegal to have a gun in New Hampshire,” the prosecutor said.

Although O’Brien acted aggressively toward Pawl, he will not be charged, Coyle said.