standing Westerly Police Department Cruiser

WESTERLY — A Stonington man who suffered cardiac arrest during a workout at Westerly Fitness has been charged with firearms offenses after a staff member spotted a loaded semi-automatic pistol sticking out of a gym bag that he had left behind, the police said.

The police said that the man, Thomas C. Parsons, 58, of 574 N. Main St., turned himself in on Monday. He was charged with carrying a firearm without a permit and possession of a firearm by someone convicted of a crime of violence. He was later released, the police said.

According to police, Parsons had become unconscious Feb. 3 and was revived with an automated external defibrillator, or AED device. He was then taken by ambulance to Lawrence+Memorial Hospital in New London for further care.

Parsons later alerted the staff of the High Street gym that he had left his bag, the police said. A staff member went to collect his belongings, but called the police after the gun, a Glock 40, was found in the bag. An officer returned to the facility and searched the bag, which contained the firearm, a second magazine in the gun holster, and a 7½-inch knife that was tucked into a side pocket.

The police said video showed Parsons walking around with the bag in tow while using equipment. Parsons had been working out when the medical emergency occurred, the police said.

The police said that after reviewing Parson’s record, it was determined that he had convictions in several states that restrict him from carrying a firearm. The gun and knife were seized as evidence.

Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said the department tried to reach out to Parsons several times, but he did not respond. The police then obtained a warrant for his arrest.

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