Police Chief Resigns After Charges Filed

Posted: August 29, 1987

Suspended Avondale police Chief Mark C. Trimble resigned yesterday after he was arrested Thursday on charges of being drunk and disorderly and firing his gun into the air while questioning three college students in a car in Franklin Township, state police said.

Trimble, 22, was charged with reckless endangerment, impersonating a public servant, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and official oppression. State police said the incident occurred Aug. 14. It was Trimble's second arrest in four months.

Trimble's attorney, John H. Wollman said Trimble turned himself in to state police at the Avondale barracks. He was arraigned before District Justice Donald C. Brown in Kennett Square and released on his own recognizance. A preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday in Kennett Square.

According to investigators, Trimble was driving in a car with two friends, James T. Wilson and Elwood Pusey 3d, when the three came upon a stopped car on Appleton Road with three University of Delaware students inside. Wilson is a West Grove police officer.

State police said Trimble, Wilson and Pusey, all of whom were drinking beer, got out of their car, asked the three students what they were doing and asked them to identify themselves. Trimble allegedly told the students he was a police officer.

At some point, police said, Trimble pulled a 9mm pistol from his glove box and fired one shot into the air. The students did not report the incident to police until two days later.

Pusey, 23, of West Grove, was cited for disorderly conduct, and Wilson, also 23, was charged with public drunkenness.

In an earlier shooting incident, on April 5, police said Trimble fired six shots with a 9mm pistol at a van full of teenagers after the driver of the van rammed the vehicle in which Trimble was a passenger. No one was injured. Trimble was charged with reckless endangerment. His trial on that charge is set for Sept. 23.

After his first arrest, Trimble, who was free on bail, was placed on a leave of absence without pay from Avondale's two-member police department. Since then, however, he had continued to work as a state constable - carrying a gun and handcuffs, transporting prisoners and serving legal papers.

Trimble announced his resignation as police chief and state constable yesterday in a brief letter to Chester County President Judge Leonard Sugerman. Both Sugerman and District Justice Administrator Kathy Cox declined to comment.

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