A former City of Salem mayor faces a felony charge in connection to a landlord/tenant dispute, according to documents filed in circuit court.
John J. Tune, 72, is charged with one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon and one misdemeanor count of fourth-degree assault. He was incarcerated in the Dent County Jail with no bond issued.
Investigation began Oct. 15 upon a male subject visiting the Salem Police Department lobby to allege Tune had brandished a pistol at him and threatened to shoot him if a document wasn’t signed, according to the case’s probable cause statement. The statement says Tune called the reporting party stemming from an earlier dispute to request he come to his home to discuss “money he owes him.”
Upon arrival, the statement alleges Tune began yelling at the other man, pulled out a pistol, cocked its hammer, held it six inches away from the man’s chest and threatened to shoot if a document wasn’t signed. The statement says the then man asked to read the document first. It quotes Tune as saying he would shoot the man if he tried to leave without signing, and he’d shoot the man’s wife if she came inside the house. The man signed the document and left.
Following the report in the lobby an officer was dispatched to Tune’s residence to speak with him. The statement says upon arrival Tune was observed through a glass window lying in bed with a revolver in his hand. Upon knocking, the statement says the officer announced himself and Tune was observed putting the revolver down to answer. The statement quotes Tune to say he did have a gun earlier but he pointed it at a window not at the other man. Tune is also quoted as telling the other man that “he should just kill him but he’s not a murderer.”
Following Tune’s arrest the pistol was recovered from the residence and identified as Colt special police model .38 special. It was loaded when found with two of its six rounds having light primer strikes.