WAREHAM - Three Mashpee men were arrested in the early hours of New Year's Day after a busted headlight led to a motor vehicle stop. According to a Wareham police release, while on patrol at 1:30 a.m. near Benny's on Cranberry Highway, Officer Nathan Aronson pulled over the driver of a vehicle with a defective headlight and a failed inspection sticker. While speaking with the driver, Officer Aronson saw a bottle of liquor and a double-edged knife on the front seat. The knife was within reach of all three of the men in the car, police said.
When the driver, identified as 22-year-old Justin Groom of 101 Thornberry Circle in Mashpee, and the two passengers, 21-year-old William Branch, of 14 Holly Street in Mashpee, and 23-year-old Ryan Cushing, of 13 Main Street in Mashpee, were removed from the vehicle, Cushing ran from the car, reaching for his waistband. Officer Daniel Henderson apprehended Cushing after a brief foot chase. During the chase, Cushing injured his ankle. On the ground next to Cushing, Officer Henderson found a loaded .38 semi-automatic pistol, police said.
All three men were placed under arrest and charged with possession of a dangerous weapon (double-edged knife). Additionally, Cushing was charged with possession of a loaded firearm without a permit and was transported to Tobey Hospital in Wareham where his ankle injury was treated.
During the arrest, $1,400 in cash was seized from the driver, Justin Groom, after a K9 dog alerted his handler to the presence of illegal narcotics on the bills.
The three men posted bail and are scheduled to appear in Wareham District Court on Tuesday.