Philadelphia Criminal Law News

Bucks County Police Officer Allegedly Fakes Getting Shot

In a strange twist that still has not been explained, a local police officer allegdly faked getting shot. Usually, this type of activity would be based on trying to cover up a murder by an officer, or to recover insurance money, neither of which has yet come to light. There was no victim at the scene, so we can cross off the murder reasoning, but what could have triggered this incident?

On Monday, Chalfont Borough Police Officer Jon Cousin reported that he had been shot during a traffic stop. The officer was taken to a hospital and then released, according to Channel 6 Action News. Other officers set up a road block to find the alleged shooter, but no car fitting the description given by Cousin was ever found, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

There were other clues that Cousin was allegedly fabricating his story: Police found bullet casings, but only from Cousin's weapon; there was no evidence another car had ever been at the scene; and Cousin showed no bruising where he'd allegedly been shot, according to Action News. In fact, the only bullet in Cousin's bulletproof vest allegedly came from Cousin's personally owned firearm.

So what crimes has Cousin allegedly committed with his strange actions?

Chalfont Borough Police Officer Jon Cousin will likely face charges of false alarm to agencies of public safety, false report to law enforcement, and recklessly endangering other people, among others, according to The Inquirer. He is also set to receive a psychological evaluation.

This case is interesting because Cousin's alleged actions could potentially be considered both a fraud and a public safety violation. Fraud charges arise when deception is used for monetary or personal gain. Public safety charges arise when there is an action that endangers the safety of the public.

While most public safety violations are minor issues like being drunk in public, they can encompass anything that causes police to respond, so that they are not out protecting people who are actually in danger.

Here, there haven't been any fraud charges because there isn't any evidence that Cousin would have benefitted from his alleged lie. Instead, the charges are closer to public safety violations for calling in for back-up when none was needed.

It will certainly be interesting to see how the recommended psychological evaluation goes for Cousin, as well as to learn what his motivations were in allegedly faking his own shooting -- without the customary pretending to be dead and attempting to start a new life in South America.

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