LONDONDERRY — Police arrested a Londonderry man yesterday after he allegedly fired a handgun in his neighborhood, fled and tried to steal a car at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.
“He was arrested without incident,” Lt. Tim Jones said.
Donald Pearson, 54, of 6 Valley St. was ordered held on $25,000 cash bail at his arraignment in 10th Circuit Court in Derry on charges of reckless conduct with a firearm, possession of a controlled drug (marijuana) and attempted theft of a motor vehicle.
Jones said police received a call from the neighborhood at 8:19 a.m.
“The resident stated that a neighbor was at the end of his driveway, shooting what appeared to be a handgun,” Jones said.
Pearson then placed two handguns in neighbors’ mailboxes, according to Londonderry police prosecutor Kevin Coyle.
As police closed off the neighborhood south of Route 102 and searched for Pearson, Manchester police alerted them they had received a 911 call from someone saying they had just dropped Pearson at the airport.
Londonderry officers on duty at the airport, where they provide security, took Pearson into custody as he tried to take a car parked curbside.
“I did hear shooting,” neighbor Joann Reynolds said. “I was in bed. That’s what woke me up.”
The next thing Reynolds knew, there were a dozen police officers on her street.
“That got me quite upset,” she said.
Reynolds said the neighborhood is a quiet one, where people keep to themselves.
She knew of no prior trouble with Pearson.
Neighbor Deanna Mele missed the excitement. She was out getting an oil change.
“Fortunately, I was at the garage having my car taken care of,” Mele said.
The police had cleared out by lunchtime.
“Everything is calm here,” she said.
Mele also was unaware of any trouble before with Pearson.
“I haven’t found him to be a problem,” she said.
Coyle said Pearson has mental health issues.
That was confirmed by Lt. Kevin Cavallaro, who said police had dealt with Pearson Monday, when he called in a report of an armed robbery that hadn’t occurred. Londonderry Fire Department took him to Parkland Medical Center for evaluation. Cavallaro said he understood Pearson was released a few hours later.
At his arraignment, Pearson said he lives alone with his three dogs and is unemployed.
Judge Lucinda Sadler asked Londonderry police to send an animal control officer to take care of his dogs.
Sadler ordered Pearson to turn in his guns and to refrain from excessive use of alcohol and drugs.
Pearson will be back in court on April 16 for a probable cause hearing.