It was a busy night on patrol for Manchester Police Officer Robert Bifsha, who made two arrests during the wee hours, both involving weapons.
One of them, actually, involving two weapons, a beer bottle and a baseball.
The first arrest came just before 1 a.m. in the area of Bridge and Pearl streets when Bifsha noticed a man, later identified as Benjamin Hopps, 30, of Manchester, riding a bicycle without the required headlamp. In the process of questioning Hopps, who was wearing a backpack, Bifsha found him to be initially evasive, but later consented to let Bifsha search his backpack. Hopps informed Bifsha that he was carrying a loaded handgun in the backpack. Officer Bifsha located the gun and arrested Hopps, who was charged with carrying a firearm without a license, after it was discovered that Hopps did not have a concealed carry permit. Hopps was released on$1,000 personal recognizance bail and is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 24 to face the charges.
The second incident happened just after 4:30 a.m. during a “hot spot” patrol conducted by Officer Bifsha, who was patrolling an area on the city’s West Side that has had multiple thefts from motor vehicles in the past month. Bifsha saw a man “pop out” from between two parked cars in the rear of 76 Notre Dame Avenue.
Bifsha approached the man and ordered him to stop. The man, later identified as Brian Malcolm, 20, of Manchester, refused to stop. As Bifsha pursued him, Malcolm turned around toward Bifsha and flashed large knife at him, which Bifsha described as about nine-inches long. According to Bifsha, Malcolm began throwing the knife from his right to left hand, even while Bifsha ordered him to put the knife down.
When Malcolm finally did put the knife down he then grabbed a beer bottle and brandished it like a weapon, but then dropped it when Bifsha ordered him to do so. At this point, Malcolm then pulled a baseball out of his pocket and started to walk away from Bifsha. Bifsha ordered Malcolm to stop and to drop the ball, which he did, and then Bifsha tackled Malcolm to the ground. The two struggled briefly, as Malcolm refused to comply with Bifsha who, in the process of trying to place handcuffs on Malcolm, could not get Malcolm, who was facing the ground, to remove his right hand from underneath his body. When Bifsha finally managed to pull Malcolm’s hand out from underneath of his body, Bifsha discovered another knife concealed under Malcolm’s coat.
Malcolm was arrested and charged with two counts of resisting arrest/detention and prowling. Malcolm was released on $1,000 personal recognizance bail, and is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 9.