PENNSYLVANIA – Jon Cousin, the Chalfont police officer arrested late Tuesday and charged with lying about being shot on duty, is out of prison and headed to a mental health treatment facility.
Cousin, 30, posted 10 percent of his $150,000 bail Thursday afternoon after agreeing to several bail modifications requested by the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.
Cousin must check into an inpatient program at a mental health clinic of his choosing within 12 hours, and notify prosecutors of his progress. He has already cleared an initial mental health evaluation done by prison doctors, and has turned over all his weapons to county detectives.
Deputy District Attorney Robert James said the modifications were necessary to protect the public.
“The nature of the offense indicates that he’s a danger to himself and others,” James said.
Cousin’s attorney, Michael Applebaum, declined to discuss specifics of his client’s alleged crimes.
“At this point we are concerned about his mental health,” Applebaum said. “If things occurred the way the police say they occurred, we will want to find out why. At this point, we just don’t know.”
Police say Cousin, a three-year veteran of the force, called dispatchers about 3:16 a.m. Monday morning and said he was checking on a suspicious vehicle parked at the Lenape Valley Swim Club on Westview Avenue.
Moments later, Cousin got back on the radio, shouting that he’d been shot. He described the fleeing gunman and two other people in the car, sending law enforcement on a frantic search throughout the area for the brazen cop-shooters.
Detectives investigating the shooting soon became suspicious. Cousin stated that his bulletproof vest saved his life, but he didn’t have severe chest bruising consistent with similar shootings.
By late Tuesday, detectives said they determined that Cousin was lying. He was arrested and charged with making false alarms to agencies of public safety, making false reports to law enforcement, disorderly conduct, official oppression, possession of an instrument of crime and recklessly endangering another person.
Cousin spent nearly two days in the county jail before being bailed out Thursday. Applebaum said Cousin’s wife and extended family are being very supportive.
“They are extremely concerned about him and are doing everything in their power to help him,” he said.
Cousin and his wife have four children, including newborn triplets. Applebaum said the family has been “traumatized” by reader comments on online news stories.
“The ugly comments from the public are not helpful,” he said.
Applebaum said he would leave it up to experts to determine whether Cousin was in the throes of some sort of mental breakdown when the alleged hoax occurred.
“I think there’s a logical explanation for what happened. At some point, everyone will get the answers they want and this case will be resolved,” he said.
Cousin’s next court date, a preliminary hearing, is tentatively scheduled for Thursday.