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.

mary collins finn August 29, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I'd like to think so. One month old triplets and another child? I bet he was sleep deprived too. I can't help but feel sorry for him and his family. I wish them well.
Nitrogirl August 29, 2012 at 06:27 PM
We all make our bed and then we all have to lay in it. His will now be in a cell. As bad as things can get, we need to think before we act, especially if one is mature enough to have children.
The Illuminati August 29, 2012 at 06:47 PM
The people who are the angriest about this are the cops that came to this jokers aid! Dozens of cops responded to this call for assistance and when that call comes you get there as fast as you can to help, risking your own safety. The ones who were betrayed were his fellow officers. This was every coos nightmare and he made a mockery of it. For those who don't like cops.. don't trust them... think they are all criminals...tell that to those children who have been left behind because mommy or daddy never came home from work because they were killed serving. Cops are just a microcosm of society. Most people are good people...some are not. Police are no different. You just hope they get weeded out thru vigorous background and mental health checks. Please give the cop bashing a break. It is a job that most people could not or would not do.
Tom Sofield August 29, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Preliminary Hearing Against Chalfont Cop Set for September 6 - http://patch.com/A-xwc9
JOHN MALDONADO August 29, 2012 at 07:00 PM
MiMi August 29, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Surely to goodness no one is surprised at this false report.....law enforcement officers are good at doing whatever they have a notion to do....I am quite SHOCKED that this DA pressed charges....which ALL OF THE PROSECUTORS SHOULD DO TO ANYONE WHO LIES....it is sad when people think that since they have a gun and a badge...they can get away with anything....
Smokey August 29, 2012 at 08:02 PM
So you use the Plural "Clowns" ? What about the many who risk their lives for you Morons? That's even sadder you won't recognize it..
Smokey August 29, 2012 at 08:08 PM
@ "J" and "Jane". I've noticed that when an Offocer gets killed you don't volunteer to take his/her place. Secondly, as former military, LEO, (To include flying for the DEA) and EMS Pilot, what have you two done to serve your country or your community except spout off?
Jane August 29, 2012 at 08:17 PM
I've done pro bono legal work, and am looking to cultivate skills to continue that work for LGBTQ legal needs. I've worked with local food pantries. I've done sexual harassment research, outreach, and intervention. I've also done a lot of education, advocacy, fundraising and political work for children's cancer. I've done advocacy work to assist disenfranchised voters. It's cute, but wrongheaded, that you and a couple others think anyone who doesn't buy your unquestioning kowtow to the law and order, badge wearing crew, is therefore a bad person. That's really symptomatic of a lot of the problems I HAVE with the badge people in the first place - "Respect mah authoritah or you are scum!" That is EXACTLY why I am distrustful and cynical about our police and military. Your thinking skills are less developed than your damn trigger fingers.
David August 29, 2012 at 08:48 PM
As a 19 year veteran of law enforcement, this story saddens me deeply. It's a shame that an officer pulls a stunt like this, but it's also a shame that people start lumping all officers into the same catergory because of incidents like this. I am by no means perfect, but I take my oath to "serve and protect" very seriously and I realize that by taking that oath, I realize I serve the citizens of my town. By looking at the logic some have shown on here, we should distrust and blame all doctors for one case of malpractice.
Jane August 29, 2012 at 08:58 PM
We more or less do... all doctors have to pay increased malpractice insurance. And as a consumer, I can (to a large degree) choose which doctors to see. I can evaluate their credentials, I can "interview" them before being treated by them, I can look for other referrals to make sure they are decent. I don't have that choice or that due diligence with cops - as to either their hiring in towns I live in or visit, or as to my interactions with them. And yet they have far more power over my legal rights than a doctor does, and will have their testimony deferred to if they shoot me.
Smokey August 29, 2012 at 09:21 PM
See, by your reply to my response you admit you only help those who further YOUR agenda. I've given aid and protected LGBT, Liberals, young, old, Communist, Conservative, all races, rich, poor, etc. I have no agenda except to be a good American. I help and protect everyone and expect nothing except people treat me as I treat them. Too bad you Liberals don't do the same. Remember the Golden Rule lady!
The Illuminati August 29, 2012 at 09:32 PM
So Jane...you have all the answers. All cops are bad...so says you. Offer up a solution. What do you propose to rid the earth of the scourge of police officers? Since it is apparent by your logic that there are no good ones. I await your response.
Jane August 29, 2012 at 09:32 PM
You have the honor of having just written literally the stupidest thing I have ever read. Are you actually writing as performance art? You managed to make it about political affiliation and religion? I'm surprised you didn't Godwin it, too! Yes, that's a HORRIBLE agenda I pursue in helping poor and marginizalized people. Thanks for the chuckle, guy! Politicize children with cancer why dontcha! Go chant USA and pump your fist some, it'll take some of the stress off your little grey cells.
Jane August 29, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Well, I am glad you asked. I think it would be a great start to subject police officers to public performance review, and much better disclosure of information (within the bounds of protecting privacy of citizens). I would also prefer to have them included in the same democratic processes by which other officials like judges, district attorneys, town council and so forth are elected. That doesn't take away all corruption, but it makes corruption easier to detect. I have pretty good faith in democracy (especially at the local rather than national level), even when it's imperfect - and it's better than the alternatives. We, the voters, could then scrutinize their records, their decisions, their propensity to violence and so forth, and can vest or withhold our trust in them by the election process. If it is thought unwieldy to incorporate all of them into our voting process, I would certainly subject leadership positions to the democratic processes. That would be my "wish list." I don't think that it's going to HAPPEN, but you asked me to offer up a solution and that's what I sure think would help.
Jane August 29, 2012 at 09:47 PM
And thanks by the way - I wouldn't say I have ALL the answers, but I do try to stay informed and aware. It was a family member involved in law enforcement, by the way, who was the first critic of the profession that educated me about their corruption. He recounted stories, for example, of seeing brothers in uniform harassed for advocating for honesty after a fellow law enforcement stole drugs from the evidence room and used them while on the clock. And other stories. I had the pleasure of going to law school with a man who left the police force because of ethics objections, but enjoyed helping people and wanted to pursue law as a way to do that with the deliberate intention of helping his community.
The Illuminati August 29, 2012 at 09:56 PM
I agree civilian oversight is something that should be looked into. I disagree that having people elected to an office reduces corruption... on the contrary is increases it. See our politicians as an example. Patronage then becomes the problem. If you think elected police are a good thing...check the history books about Tameny Hall. Our elected officials are supposed to oversee the police. Perhaps they are not doing their jobs?
Jane August 29, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Perhaps they aren't - I agree that too often DA's defer to cops in situations like this, and the Marino case (and I'm glad to see the DA is pressing charges here). But I think more civilian oversight would underline their ability to get away with that. I'm glad you brought up Tammany Hall - I almost mentioned an interest in history and I'm well aware of the corruption in that era (and the current era). The question, though, is whether our system (with the corruptions that occur) is better or worse than other systems of government - for example absolute (and divine) monarchy, communism, fascism, military dictatorship, etc. I think, wholeheartedly, it IS better. I think those systems had more problems - at least for us little guys. What leaders in some of those systems got away with, puts what cops get away with to the pale. I at least, can't think of a system better than democracy, to vest power in the people. Anarcho-syndicalism is interesting in theory, but in my opinion lacks enough systems to protect markets and individuals, and would never work in as populous, diverse, and international a world as we live in. I am by no means an anarchist in the traditional sense. So, I think that *as compared to other systems* elections reduce corruption. I think that holding corruption at bay requires an educated (and disclosed-to) populace. We definitely agree on the power of shining a light on a problem.
The Illuminati August 29, 2012 at 11:26 PM
I agree that all people...cops included, should be prosecuted with the same fervor if they are accused of wrongdoing. I am not as jaded as you are with the assertion that there is widespread corruption amongst our local police. I personally know dozens of cops because of the line of work I am in and all if them have and do serve admirably. Many of them having been severely injured in the service of others. I can tell you with absolute certainty that all of them are angered by this cops actions...and they are angered anytime an officer does something that brings dishonor to the profession. Unfortunately, when a cop does it, it is magnified 100x. If a check out clerk beats his wife, it does not make the news, but if a cop does it is on at 6 o'clock. I also think bad cops make great news. The news doesn't cover the cop who delivers a baby in the back seat of his cruiser or gives the homeless guy $5 at the local was to buy some milk and bread...that happens alot more than the scandalous stuff you read about.
Jane August 29, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Well, I think it IS rightfully a bigger story if the cop beats his wife. The cop's credibility, his inclination to violence and his inclination to break the law are all a lot more important than the shopkeeper's! We don't vest a shopkeeper with "our" badge and gun, to act on our behalf. I support holding those who act as public service, or in law, to higher standards, and that applies to me in my career as well. What I am most worried about, is the stuff we DON'T hear about because of the code of silence and protecting one another.
susan dorsey August 30, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Nicole August 30, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Being sleep deprived is not what caused him to do this.Im a mother of 4 kids and Im alwsys sleep deprived, and I would never do such a stupid thing like he did. I do feel for his wife and children what he did was not there fault. Praying for those kids and thier mother .
Monkey Boy August 30, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Jane smells like a monkey and she looks like one too
Lavender Green August 30, 2012 at 02:07 PM
funny I hadn't read this story and I probably wont, what got me was the "monkey" comment which I found very childish. But anyway, I believe no one is above the law, I believe that no one has the right to abuse another, I believe that Jane is right about the "CODE OF SILENCE". I have known many cops personally and they are really all the same, they believe they can do things others cant because they are the law, yes I have seen this first hand, driving in a car with a cop doing 100 mph when the limit is 45, ummm no ticket there. With that said any public figure should serve as a role model, teacher so to speak, its like raising children with the do as I say but not as I do ethic, If a cop breaks the law he should be treated the same as if it were a regular non cop person. That goes for all public figures, because its not just the cops who have that code, it goes up the ladder and onto the ones who represent them.
Monkey Boy August 30, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Lavender Green that's like saying all blacks are bad people! You stupid monkey hater! Lavender hates blacks!!!!
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.


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