Derry mayor resigns amid allegations of pointing gun at children
Derry Mayor Kevin M. Gross has resigned in the wake of allegations he pointed a gun at four children in a park on Sunday, his attorney said Thursday night.
Gross, who could not be reached for comment, believes that he is unable to accomplish what he wants to do to help Derry, given all of the attention that has been focused on the borough as a result of the incident, said Greensburg attorney Tim Andrews.
“His goal was always to help Derry Borough,” Andrews said.
Chad Fabian, Derry Borough council president, could not be reached for comment.
Gross, 38, was arrested Sunday when he allegedly got involved during a playground argument over a marker that involved his son, according to state police.
Troopers said he took a loaded revolver to the park near his Broad Street home just before 8:30 p.m.
He is accused of pointing the gun at a 15-year-old boy and three girls — a 12-year-old and two 14-year-olds — before residents nearby intervened, police said.
“It’s our contention that the allegations have factual inaccuracies in many ways,” attorney Tim Andrews said.
Gross’ training as a member of the military “would preclude him from acting in the manner that they’re claiming,” Andrews said.
“Mr. Gross is an outstanding member of the community,” Andrews said, adding that he is an Iraq war veteran who was airlifted out of the war zone with serious injuries. It was unclear the branch of the military with which he served.
Gross posted $20,000 bail Tuesday. Sheriff’s deputies confiscated more than 55 firearms, including handguns and hunting rifles, from his home later that day as part of his bond conditions.
Andrews said the majority of those firearms are collectible items that have never been used. The remaining guns are used for hunting or target shooting, he said.
Police accuse Gross of ordering the teenage boy to the ground at gunpoint and demanding the girls put their cellphones and belongings down while pointing the weapon at them.
He is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, harassment and reckless endangerment.
Andrews said he plans to take the charges to trial. An April 24 preliminary hearing is set.
Gross was elected mayor in 2017 when he ran unopposed. It was unclear whether he was appointed or elected to the position before. A Tribune-Review story from November 2016 identifies him as the borough mayor.