Priest Points Musket At 8-Year-Old Over Sports Rivalry, Prosecutors Say

| by Brendan Kelly
St. Margaret of Cortana Roman Catholic Church, Inset: Kevin CarterSt. Margaret of Cortana Roman Catholic Church, Inset: Kevin Carter

A New Jersey priest is facing criminal charges after allegedly pointing a gun at an 8-year-old child at his church and threatening to shoot him for being a Dallas Cowboys fan.

Kevin Carter, a 54-year-old priest at St. Margaret of Cortana Roman Catholic Church, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault, according to the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office.

The incident happened on Sept. 13 before a New York Giants game against the Dallas Cowboys, NBC 4 New York reported.

According to prosecutors, the priest made the child stand against a wall, went to get a musket, and then pointed the antique gun at him. And he allegedly did all this because the boy was rooting for the Cowboys; the priest is reportedly a Giants fan.

"As he raised his weapon and pointed it at the boy, he said, 'I'm going to shoot you,'" Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli told NBC 4 New York.

The boy was not hurt, according to Molinelli.

"The young boy was apparently a fan of a particular football team, the priest was not. So perhaps we have indication it started out as that," he said. "There's no such thing as joking around with a weapon when you're dealing with an 8-year-old kid."

A parishioner who witnessed the incident contacted officials at Newark Archdiocese on Sept. 25. The Archdiocese contacted the prosecutor's office on Sept. 28.

An investigation was launched by the prosecutor's office along with Little Ferry police. On Oct. 2, the priest was interviewed at the rectory. Investigators searched the room and found the functioning Civil War-style musket that was allegedly used, plus gunpowder, ammunition and other items for the gun.

The priest is being held in jail on $15,000 bail. As of Oct. 2, he was still in custody. He is set to be arraigned on Oct. 6, and his attorney said he plans to plead not guilty.

Sources: Dallas News, NBC 4 New York

Photo Credit: Dallas News