EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 17, 2013

Gun incident at Mack's frightens customers

By Doug Ireland

---- — LONDONDERRY — Police are investigating a gun incident at Mack’s Apples that gave some customers a scare Saturday.

The incident occurred about 3 p.m. when a man apparently took another driver’s parking space near the farmstand, according to police Lt. Timothy Jones.

It led to a confrontation between Douglas Pawl, 30, of Manchester and Gerald O’Brien, 54, of Derry, Jones said. Pawl allegedly pulled out a handgun while still in his car, Jones said.

The incident frightened some of the approximately 100 customers, especially when O’Brien started yelling, “Gun, gun, gun,” farm manager Mike Cross said.

“Some people kind of ducked and covered into the building,” Cross said.

Confusion ensued as people wondered what was going on, Cross said. Several people, including an employee and O’Brien, called 911.

Within minutes, six police cruisers and numerous heavily armed officers arrived at the Mammoth Road business, Cross said.

“They jumped out of their cars and surrounded the car (Pawl) was sitting in,” he said. “It was like a SWAT team showing up.”

O’Brien told police he was getting ready to park his vehicle when Pawl suddenly drove around him and pulled into the space, Jones said.

O’Brien got of his car and the two men began arguing, prompting Pawl to display a .22-caliber handgun, Jones said. O’Brien quickly got away from Pawl, who was removed from the car by police minutes later and handcuffed. Jones said.

Pawl may have been the most confused, Cross said. He was petting his dog in the car and waiting for his wife to return from buying apples when police surrounded him, he said.

No one was arrested and both men were allowed to leave. Jones said the men provided different accounts of the incident, and officers are investigating. Charges may be filed, Jones said.

Police remained at Mack’s for about half an hour, Cross said. The farmstand was locked down only briefly, he said.