.

DA: Chalfont Officer Faked Shooting

The Bucks County District Attorney says a Chalfont police officer lied about being shot early Monday morning.

OUTSIDE PHILADELPHIA -- A local police officer who said he was shot during a traffic stop early Monday morning has been accused of faking the shooting.

Chalfont Borough Patrolman Jon Cousin, 30, was taken into custody late Tuesday evening by Bucks County Detectives. He faces charges that he lied when he claimed he was .

Cousin, a father of 1-month-old triplets and another young child, was taken into custody at the county courthouse in Doylestown.

The officer is expected to be charged with false reports to law enforcement, reckless endangerment and several other crimes, District Attorney David Heckler said at a press conference.

The 30-year-old Chalfont resident is expected to undergo a mental evaluation in the coming days, Heckler said.

Cousin reported the shooting shortly after 3 a.m. Monday after he radioed dispatch to report that he was checking on a older-model maroon Oldsmobile Cutlass. He said it had no license plates and was parked in the gravel lot of the Lenape Valley Swim Club on Westview Avenue.

Moments later, the officer can be heard in scanner audio obtained by GunCrisis.org shouting “Get back in the car!”

In the next radio call, Cousin can be heard calmly telling the female dispatcher he had been shot in the chest. He added, "I think my vest stopped it."

The car and the armed assailants were all a “figment” of Cousin’s imagination, Heckler stated.

Heckler and Chalfont Police Chief Frank Campbell told reporters that police started noticing issues with the officer’s story within moments of arriving at the scene.

For one thing, Heckler said, police did not find the gravel in the parking lot where the incident was reported to have occurred disturbed at all. The officers also noticed that Cousin did not have his vest on when they pulled up to the scene.

As the investigation progressed, three bullet casings found at the scene did not match the .380 revolver slug that was lodged in the officer’s bullet-proof vest, Heckler said. The three casings matched the officer’s service pistol.

A canvass of the neighborhood surrounding the swim club gave officials a lead. A nearby resident who was reading a book when the incident occurred was certain she heard only three gunshots. Not the four - one from the subject and three fired by the officer - that Cousin reported, the district attorney said.

Ballistics examination of the evidence and an interview with the officer further showed that the story from the 4-year veteran of the Chalfont department did not add up.

Cousin was taken by ambulance to Abington Memorial Hospital after the shooting and released shortly after, a hospital spokesperson said on Monday. Heckler said the officer did not sustain any noticeable wounds, and a ballistics expert, Montgomery County detective John Finor, said if the officer had been shot in the vest with a .380 round, he would have had some visible injury.

Heckler said the officer had not yet told police why he faked his own shooting.

It was unclear when Cousin’s vest was struck with the bullet, but Heckler said officials don't believe the shot was fired on Monday. The striking bullet was fired from a gun the officer legally owned.

County authorities arrested Cousin after “inviting” him to the courthouse in a “ruse.” Heckler implied the arrest was done that way to ensure the safety of the officer’s family and others.

The DA said he intends to seek restitution from Cousin for the incident’s cost to taxpayers. While he was not sure of the exact cost, he said the investigation has “put the taxpayers through a lot of expense.”

In the hours after the shooting was reported, a massive police presence, including K9s and a helicopter, rushed to the scene. Several detectives at both the local and county level also are working on the case, Heckler said.

Chalfont borough leaders, Heckler and Campbell said they were thankful no one was harmed in the incident.

The borough chief said he could not comment on the officer’s performance with the small eight officer department. He did add that no previous incident like Monday’s were on the officer’s record.

Campbell added he was “frustrated” by the incident.

“The people in Chalfont are safe,” Heckler said.

Chalfont borough manager Melissa Shafer said Cousin has been put on administrative leave and the borough has initiated an employment investigation into the matter.

 

Doylestown Patch editor Sarah Larson contributed to this report.

Lavender Green August 30, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Funny, well those who know me know that I don't discriminate against anyone's color, race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and so on, what I do not like is ignorant stupid people. So before you go and spout off those horrible lies know your facts! If you read the actual words that i wrote its stating that anyone and everyone should be treated the same!
John A Daley August 31, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Wow people! Obviously the guy has some kind of issues. What they are and how they were effecting him only he knows right now. Hopefully simeon can find this out and give him the help he needs. It is a very sad situation for his family. I can't understand judging all cops based on his actions. And although his actions were very wrong, it didn't seem to me that anyone that doesn't have ALL of the facts has any place judging him either. Obviously there are some good and honest cops and investigators working on this case because it wasn't covered up jut to protect "one of their own". So let these people do their jobs and decide what actions need to be taken. It's a shame that something led this man to these actions but instead of condoning our condemning, lets make decisions about our reactions based on all of the facts wich are not ALL clear yet.
tony September 01, 2012 at 09:38 AM
Lawyers should do the world a service and hang themselves in their basements of their luxurious homes. Then they might actually understand the struggles of actual people. Please don't preach to us about how you've "done pro-bono work" and "work for the food pantry." How about we just let the criminals go to jail and let the real victims can feel safe. Support the L.A.L.campaign!! (Lawyers Are Losers)
tony September 01, 2012 at 09:42 AM
For the record, I am not only anti-lawyer. I am also anti-idiot, and yes, this cop is an idiot. This idiot made hard working good cops have to work ten times harder to regain the public's trust.
Lavender Green September 07, 2012 at 05:48 PM
John, My comment is based on facts, I no alot of police officers and although they are nice people they believe they can do minor things (speed, text while driving and so on) and not be punished. I agree there might be some out there who are honest but they are few and far between! Everyone has issues and yes I hope this person gets the help they need.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »