Monday, October 6, 2014

Police: Middletown man charged with firing bullet into neighbor's home

Posted: Saturday, September 27, 2014
A 31-year-old convicted felon accused of firing a bullet that broke a neighbor’s window allegedly claimed he fired the gun because it was the only way he knew how to unload it.
No one was injured when the bullet hit the rear window in the 400 block of Adams Avenue in Middletown around 12:30 p.m. Friday, but George Byrd IV, of the 400 block of Jefferson Avenue, is facing charges including persons not to possess firearms and discharging a firearm into an occupied structure.
George Byrd IV
The Adams Avenue resident told police that around noon she heard what she thought were gunshots near her home. She later noticed a rear window on her porch had been shattered, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Around 1 p.m. she was standing inside her home looking at the damage when she saw a man dressed in dark colored shorts and no shirt leave the house behind hers. As he stood in the doorway of the home, he fired a gun in what appeared to be the direction of her home and then ran back into the house he had previously exited, police said.
Detective Patrick Nicastro inspected the Adams Avenue home and found what appeared to be two bullet holes in a fence that separated the Adams Avenue and Jefferson Avenue homes, police said.
Nicastro also found a small hole in a window screen of the shattered window and recent damage to the siding on the porch. After pulling the siding free, Nicastro found what appeared to be a fired, medium caliber handgun bullet behind the siding, the affidavit said.
Middletown police officers visited the Jefferson Avenue home where they were met by a man wearing black shorts and no shirt later identified as Byrd. Byrd denied any knowledge of shots being fired and police detained him and checked the home to see if any armed subjects were inside, court documents said.
During that sweep, police allegedly found several rounds of handgun ammunition on the basement floor.
A search warrant was obtained and executed and police confiscated various handgun ammunition of varying calibers, a .357 revolver, 12-gauge double barrel shotgun an a M77 long rifle, the affidavit said.
Police also found two bullet holes entering and exiting the back of a shed in the rear of the property. Similar bullet holes were seen entering and exiting a fence at the rear of a shed on the Jefferson Avenue property.
A review of Byrd’s criminal record found he was adjudicated delinquent — the juvenile court equivalent of guilty in adult court — of felony burglary when he was 17, which would prohibit him from possessing a firearm.
During his arraignment Byrd made a statement to District Judge Philip Daly admitting that he shot the gun into the ground to clear it because he was unfamiliar with guns and didn’t know how to unload ammunition, Nicatro said.
Following his arraignment Byrd was sent to Bucks County prison in lieu of 10 percent of $20,000 bail.

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