Man accused of holding homeless youth at gunpoint
LONDONDERRY — A Hooksett man faces multiple charges after allegedly holding a homeless youth at gunpoint in the woods behind the Enterprise Car Wash early Sunday morning.
Gerald Towne, 51, was arraigned in 10th Circuit Court-District Division-Derry early Tuesday morning and was held on $10,000 cash bail at Rockingham County Jail.
He is being charged with single counts of simple assault, criminal restraint, suspended registration and driving after revocation or suspension, plus four counts of criminal threatening (use of a deadly weapon).
Police received a 911 call from an employee at the Commerce Avenue car wash shortly after 7 a.m. on Sunday. The caller told police that a man came out of the woods and told them his brother “was being held hostage” on a nearby trail.
Londonderry Police Detective Chris Olson said the two brothers, who police did not identify, are both in their early 20s and are currently homeless.
Initial investigations into the case indicate the brothers had been temporarily living in Towne’s vehicle, which was parked in the nearby woods. Towne’s address is listed as the Chester Turnpike in Hooksett, though it’s unclear at this time if that address is current.
Police arrived at the scene within minutes Sunday morning, where several witnesses directed them to the area where the vehicle was parked.
“It wasn’t an area easily accessed by car, so officers made their way on foot,” Olson said.
It is not known how long Towne had known the two homeless men, but police believe the three had just met recently.
According to police reports, the brothers were sleeping inside the car when they were allegedly awakened by a ranting Towne.
“Both victims reported that (Towne) was acting strange,” Olson said.
The victims told police Towne had threatened their lives with a handgun, a knife and a large rock. One of the brothers managed to escape from the car, running through the woods to the nearby car wash to get help.
A search of the suspect’s car revealed a 9mm handgun and a large knife. Olson said a large rock was also found near the car, and packets of narcotic substances known as “spice” were inside the vehicle.
A trial date for Towne hadn’t been set as of Tuesday evening.