Manchester-by-the-Sea Police Officer Arrested for Domestic Assault


On Friday October 26, 2012 at approximately midnight, the Beverly Police responded to 15 Devon Avenue for a report of a domestic disturbance involving a shot fired from a gun. While en route officers were made aware that the victim had gone to a neighbor’s house for safety and that the male party involved was now outside the house. Officers arrived on scene to find John “Jay” Swallow, a Sergeant with the Manchester-by-the-Sea Police Department, outside on the sidewalk. Responding officers acted swiftly in handcuffing Swallow for their safety and the safety of the public. Swallow cooperated with officers saying, “I don’t want to hurt you guys.”


At this point the victim returned to the scene and explained to officers what happened. The victim had been arguing with Swallow and the argument escalated to the point where Swallow left the room and returned with a silver Ruger hand gun. Swallow then proceeded to grab the victim by the shirt, and point the gun at the victim. He then pointed the gun at the family dog and stated he was going to kill the dog. The victim asked Swallow to leave but when he refused, the victim pushed past him and went to the neighbor’s house. As the victim was walking outside, a single gunshot was heard inside the house. Swallow told officers that the gun had accidentally discharged while he was en route to put it away.


After Swallow’s arrest, and with the assistance of the victim, officers found numerous weapons in the residence including 16 handguns, 11 rifles, 8 shotguns, 2 BB guns, a large amount of ammunition, and 4 samurai swords. All were seized, along with Swallow’s license to carry firearms. Swallow is charged with assault & battery, assault with a dangerous weapon, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, witness intimidation, and 3 counts of firearms security violation.


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