DERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA/AP) — The former mayor of Derry Borough has been held for trial on charges of pointing a gun at a group of kids in a Westmoreland County park.
Kevin Gross, 38, was held for trial during a court appearance on Wednesday.
Last week, Gross resigned from his position over the accusations. His tenure as mayor lasted less than two years.
He also turned over more than 50 guns on a district judge’s order.
Police say the incident happened at the park on Broad Street where Gross’s son allegedly got into a scuffle with a 15-year-old boy.
Gross is accused of pointing a gun at that boy, as well as three girls who were standing nearby.
Timothy Andrews, Gross’ defense attorney, said Gross believed the boy had a knife and had forced two younger children to the ground after a fight.
“The boy admitted that he had a young boy in a headlock and was dragging him to the ground and Mr. Gross yelled at him to stop and asked him multiple times,” Andrews said.
On the stand, the 15-year-old testified Gross pointed the gun at his head all while screaming obscenities at him. State Police testified the boy was not armed.
Three girls, ages 12 to 14, also testified Gross ordered them not to leave the area and told them to remove their cell phones and place them on the ground. One of the girls told the court she was scared she was going to be shot and wanted to call her dad.
Jason Caldwell is the 15-year-old boy’s stepfather. He says the teen isn’t sleeping well because of nightmares and anxiety.
“There is no common sense, sticking a gun in a kid’s face. None whatsoever. The kids were scraping. You know, kids fight, and it was over something stupid,” Caldwell said.
After Gross resigned, Andrews said he denied the allegations but stepped down because he felt the case was detracting from his ability to govern.
Gross is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment and harassment.
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