Vehicle Stop Leads to Gun, Alcohol Arrests

Shots were reportedly fired in an incident on South Policy Street but police haven't been able to link the two incidents.

Two men were arrested in Salem early Sunday morning after a motor vehicle stop revealed one of them was carrying an unlicensed handgun.

The arrests came shortly after a report of fired shots near the Maclarnon Road and South Policy Street intersection, but police said there isn't enough evidence at this time to link these arrests to that incident.

Jonathan Mai, 19 of Lowell, Mass., was arrested for carrying a firearm without a license. A passenger, Bophann Pech, 19 of Lynn, Mass., was taken into custody and charged with minor in possession of alcohol (internal).

Police said at about 2:20 a.m. Sunday they responded to the intersection of Maclarnon Road and South Policy Street for a report of several gun shots and once police arrived they met a resident. Police said the resident had witnessed the latter half of the incident.

The resident told police he heard the squealing of tires and a vehicle accelerating.

The resident went outside and saw a dark sedan stopped in the roadway on South Policy south of the intersection. He told police he saw two male occupants exit the vehicle one of which "fired several rounds from a handgun in the opposite direction," towards the Interstate 93 off-ramp that crosses over South Policy.

A Salem officer spotted a dark sedan in the area of Rockingham Park minutes after the call was dispatched. The vehicle matched the description of the one reportedly involved in the incident. The officer stopped the vehicle and spoke with three male occupants.

Police said the officer located a loaded handgun in the vehicle, but it was a different caliber than the shell casings found on South Policy Street. Police have yet to locate a firearm matching that caliber.

The occupants of the stopped vehicle "denied any involvement in the shooting incident and were relatively uncooperative with the investigation," police said.

As of Sunday afternoon, police were "unable to definitively link this vehicle, and its occupants, to the crime" on South Policy.

The third occupant of the vehicle was released to family members after being taken to police headquarters.

Mai was released on $500 cash bail while Pech was released on a summons. Both are scheduled for arriagnment in the 10th Circuit Court of Salem on Oct. 15.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. Mike Wagner at the Salem Police Department (603) 893-1911 with any information they may have.

Tim McCarthy September 17, 2012 at 03:55 PM
What in tarnation is going on here? They are bringing more trouble from Mass to here!


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