Manchester police officer finds gun in cyclist’s backpack
MANCHESTER — Manchester police Officer Robert Bifsha stopped a man on a bicycle, riding without a headlight, at 12:43 a.m. Wednesday at Pearl and Bridge streets.
Bifsha said Benjamin Hopps, 30, of Manchester, was initially evasive in responding to his questions, but consented to a search of his backpack.
As Bifsha began unzipping the first compartment, Hopps said there was a handgun in the backpack. Because Hopps did not have a concealed carry permit for the loaded handgun, he was charged with carrying a firearm without a license.
Hopps was released on $1,000 personal recognizance bail and scheduled for arraignment Sept. 24 in Circuit Court-Manchester District Division.
Almost three hours later, at 4:38 a.m., while Bifsha was conducting a “hot spot” patrol on the West Side, patrolling an area where there have been multiple thefts from vehicles in the past month, a man suddenly appeared from between two parked vehicles behind 76 Notre Dame Ave.
Bifsha reported that he approached the man and ordered him to stop, but Brian Malcolm, 30, of Manchester, initially refused to stop. When Malcolm did stop, said Bifsha, he flashed a knife, possibly nine inches in length.Malcolm was throwing the knife from hand to hand, but finally responded to Bifsha’s order to put it down. But then Malcolm brandished a beer bottle. Bifsha said Malcolm dropped the bottle as soon as he was ordered to do so. But Malcolm wasn’t done. He pulled a baseball out of his pocket and again began to walk away.
When Malcolm finally responded to the order to stop, he put down the baseball and Bifsha said he took him to the ground, where the two men struggled, with Malcolm refusing to pull his right hand out from under his belly so Bifsha could handcuff him. Bifsha finally was able to get hold of Malcolm’s right hand and handcuffed him. Bifsha then found a second knife under Malcolm’s coat.
Malcolm was charged with two counts of resisting arrest and one of prowling and was released on $1,000 personal recognizance bail, scheduled for arraignment Sept. 9 in Circuit Court.