Police: Man Threatened Officers With Knife

Thomas J. Burke taken into custody after Salem PD sergeant racked "bean bag" shotgun.

Salem Police arrested a local man Wednesday night after he allegedly threatened numerous police officers with a large knife.

Police charged Thomas J. Burke, 30, of Salem, with criminal mischief, resisting arrest, felony reckless conduct and three felony charges of criminal threatening.

According to police, Burke had previously been involuntarily committed at Concord Hospital, and police were not aware he'd been released.

Police said they responded to a 911 call at a Loren Road residence at approximately 9:13 p.m. Wednesday.

Burke's father reported his son was "out of control and smashing things in the house."

Police said when officers first arrived, the suspect exited the house with a "large kitchen knife," ran at the officers and threatened to "'cut them up.'"

Several other officers arrived on scene and began ordering him to drop the knife "although he remained completely out of control," according to police.

Police said Burke refused to drop the knife and made more threats to officers. At that point, police said Sgt. Jason Smith was able to deploy a bean bag shotgun, described by police as being "less lethal."

Police said that upon Smith yelling Burke's name, and racking the shotgun, Burke "immediately dropped the knife and got on his knees."

From there, Burke was taken into custody without further incident, "avoiding a potentially life threatening situation," police said.

According to police, Burke was involuntarily committed to Concord Hospital on Oct. 17 and police were unaware he'd been released.

Salem Police had to guard him "around the clock" while at Parkland Medical Center at that time "for safety reasons as hospital staff and counselors were in fear for their safety," police said.

Police said Burke was at Parkland while waiting for a bed "at an appropriate facility."


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