HAVERHILL — Well-known local businessman Malcolm Kimball was arrested this week after failing to appear in court on gun charges related to an incident last August at his downtown insurance office.

During the incident, Kimball's son waved a gun in the face of a man during an argument, police said. They said the elder Kimball interfered with a police investigation that followed, and officers discovered he had two handguns that he was not licensed to carry.

During the investigation, police charged the elder Kimball, 65, of 17 Wedgewood Drive with carrying a firearm without a license, improper storage of a firearm and interfering with a police officer.

Court officials said Kimball was ordered to be at Haverhill District Court Friday for his arraignment on the charges, but that he failed to show up so a warrant was issued for his arrest.

At a hearing Monday in Haverhill District Court, Judge Cesar Archilla released Kimball, who had been arrested, on personal recognizance. The judge scheduled a pretrial hearing for May 3, according to court officials.

The charges against him stem from an Aug. 20 incident in which Malcolm Kimball's son, Craig Kimball, was accused of waving a gun in the face of another man and threatening to put him on a "hit list" during an altercation at Malcolm Kimball's insurance office.

Police charged Craig Kimball with assault with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, threat to commit a crime and possession of an unlicensed firearm.

During a hearing last September in Haverhill District Court, Craig Kimball was sentenced to 11 months probation for the crime, as part of a plea deal. He was ordered not to possess any guns or he would risk imprisonment. By pleading guilty, he gave up his rights to a trial on the charges against him, which a judge said were "pretty serious," according to court documents.

Following the Aug. 20 incident at his insurance office, Malcolm Kimball told The Eagle-Tribune that the situation involving police at his business was "a sham."

"We've been doing insurance since 1882. Now we're doing criminal activities? Come on," Kimball said at the time.

Later the day his son was arrested, Malcolm Kimball met police at his office to grant them access to his safe, a police report said. Inside the safe, according to the report, officers found a silver handgun and a black semi-automatic pistol in a leather holster. Both weapons were seized by police, the report said.

According to the report, Malcolm Kimball could not produce a firearms identification card or a license to carry firearms when officers asked if he had those items. The report said police used an FBI database to search for serial numbers on the guns found in the insurance office, but they found no matches.

Police also said Malcolm Kimball was loud and belligerent with officers, and that he inhibited their ability to conduct an initial investigation into the incident involving his son.

Malcolm Kimball told The Eagle-Tribune that he was police officer for "three or four years" in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

"I'm a former police officer in Groveland and let my (firearms) license lapse,'' he said. "It doesn't really matter. The whole thing's a sham."

The gun in the safe had a barrel lock and a trigger lock, and was unloaded, according to Kimball. There was no ammunition in the building, he said. 

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