Legal fund established for man arrested at State House gun rally
Daniel Musso, of Brentwood, is apprehended by law enforcement officers during a gun control rally supported by Mayors Against Illegal Guns in Concord on Tuesday, June 18, 2013.
(TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff)
Gun regulation advocate John Cantin speaks to the crowd at a gun control rally organized by Mayors Against Illegal Guns in Concord on Tuesday, June 18, 2013.
(TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff)
A legal fund has been established for the Brentwood man who was arrested and subdued with a Taser two weeks ago at a gun control rally outside the State House, according to supporters.
Daniel Musso, a 52-year-old gun rights advocate, was charged the night of the rally with misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and simple assault after he heckled a speaker and touched a police officer on the shoulder. He was released from jail on $5,000 cash bail hours after the incident and is scheduled for an appearance at Concord’s district court in August, according to the Concord police.
Jack Kimball, a former gubernatorial candidate and chairman of the state Republican Party who organized a counter-rally at the event, of which Musso had been a part, notified supporters late last week about the fund. Kimball said he did not create the fund and did not reveal yesterday who did.
Last week, the state branch of pro-Second Amendment group Gun Rights Across America promoted the fundraising effort on its Facebook page, publishing in a post: “Let’s Help out a True Patriot and a Vet. For those of you that Know Mr. Musso then you know that he is facing a Long Legal Battle. Let’s try to help him out. Please donate to Daniel Musso’s legal fund: TD Bank, N.A. 32 Chestnut Street, PO Box 1377, Lewiston, ME 04243-1377.”
The group’s state organizer, Christopher Smart, said it did not establish the fund. Despite promoting it, Smart added his organization did not condone Musso’s behavior at the rally.
In his email to supporters, Kimball indicated that Musso had hired an attorney to represent him on the charges, and he faced unforeseen legal fees. He added that the court had ordered Musso to turn in his weapons following the arrest, which the Concord police confirmed had been a condition of his bail, though they said they had no record that he had turned in any weapons. An officer at the Brentwood Police Department also said they had no record of confiscating any weapons.
News of the fund came only days after Musso’s house was badly damaged by a chimney fire, which resulted in about $150,000 in damage, said firefighter Joe Bird of the Brentwood Fire Department.
Musso would not comment yesterday about the fund, the arrest or the fire.
In his email to supporters, Kimball said he felt compelled to help Musso after hearing about the fire and witnessing the arrest, which he characterized as unfounded because Musso had done nothing wrong.
“I can’t tell you how upset this has made me,” he wrote, noting what he indicated to be Musso’s multiple ties to law enforcement and the military, including two sons serving in Afghanistan.
Video footage from the rally showed Musso apparently resisting arrest and, concurrently, informing an officer with a Taser pointed at his chest that he had a heart condition. Musso eventually freed an arm from behind his back, where two other officers were attempting to handcuff him, and the officer with the Taser fired the weapon.
“I was an eye witness to what happened and I can tell you, with certainty, that the man who was tazed did not deserve the treatment he received from the Concord Police Department,” Kimball wrote. “It should have been handled completely differently.”
(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)