NY Yankees GM Brian Cashman praises cops in wake of Darien incident

DARIEN — New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said he was comforted — not angered — by police drawing their guns on him last week when he was mistaken for a car thief.

Darien police pulled their guns on Cashman as he was exiting a gas station in town Friday morning.

Cashman had reported his Jeep Wrangler stolen the previous weekend from his Rowayton home. It was recovered and returned to Cashman a few days later in New York, but it was never removed from the police stolen vehicle list.

“It was a joyride,” Cashman told Hearst Connecticut Media on Monday. “There was no damage but there was a mess of stuff they left behind.”

Cashman, 52, was on his way to the Norwalk Police Department on Friday to have the vehicle processed for evidence when he was stopped.

“I started to pull out when two SUVs from Darien Police blocked me from exiting from the front, and they closed the Post Road,” he said.

“They asked me if I was driving my vehicle because it was still reported as stolen,” he said.

An unrelated incident that occurred around the same time added to the confusion, police said.

Darien police said they were notified around 10:40 a.m. Friday about a patient of a local doctor’s office seen in possession of a gun. When officers arrived, the man had already left and they were told he was driving a white Jeep-like vehicle, according to a report of the incident.

Within minutes, Cashman’s white Jeep was observed in the Shell gas station on Boston Post Road at Sedgewick Avenue and it was listed as stolen, police said.

Cashman said he exited the vehicle slowly, “without rash movement,” with his hands raised as the officers instructed him to do. He walked backward while one Darien police officer had his gun out and others had their hands on their weapons.

“They were very professional,” he said.

“Once they got my ID, and searched my car, they realized,” Cashman said.

It was only later he learned of the medical office incident. Police said the man in that incident was found and had a legal permit to carry a weapon and did not realize he raised a concern.

Cashman described the widely reported incident as a case of miscommunication between law enforcement agencies.

“Ultimately, if I was a Darien resident, I’d feel good about being protected,” Cashman said. “If you are stopped, just do what what you are told. It will all work out. Let them complete the job they are doing. It’s about public safety.”