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« Trump: The First Year

Trump argument turns potentially deadly among Warren neighbors

Published: Thu, July 26, 2018 @ 12:06 a.m.

Staff report


An argument between two men Tuesday night over President Donald Trump turned into a confrontation with a shotgun – and the gunman being injured as the other man took the gun away.

Fred T. Dickson, 58, of Southern Boulevard Northwest, told police he was across the street at his neighbor’s house talking to him and the neighbor’s friend about cars, but the conversation turned to the president.

Dickson said he told the neighbor’s friend, John S. Cope Jr., 30, of West Market Street, that he is “not a big fan” of Trump, which triggered an argument about 8 p.m.

According to the police report, Dickson said he went back to his home to put his car in the garage, but he got his shotgun and went back to the neighbor’s house.

One of the two males “grabbed the shotgun,” which caused Dickson to fall on a child’s playpen, striking his face on it, Dickson said.

The fall caused a cut between Dickson’s eyes, a bruise on his forehead and abrasions on his elbow and both shins, but Dickson refused medical treatment.

The neighbor, meanwhile, told police he was aware that Dickson was extremely intoxicated as the men debated various issues.

Eventually, Dickson threw a can of soda at Cope, Cope said. Cope told Dickson not to do that, which caused Dickson to walk away, repeatedly saying “I will show you,” Cope said.

Dickson was gone a short time, then returned with the shotgun.

“Dickson pointed the shotgun at [Cope] and told him he was going to kill him,” the police report says. “Cope was able to wrestle the firearm from Dickson,” but Dickson lost his balance and fell on the playpen, causing the injuries, Cope said. Dickson was back at his own house when police arrived to talk to him.

Cope said he removed one round from the shotgun and put it on the floor of the garage, where police recovered it. There were still two live rounds in it, police said.

Officers advised Cope to talk to the city prosecutor if he wished to file charges, but none had been filed as of Wednesday afternoon.

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