Two Men Face Charges After AK-47 Fired Into the Air Hit Utility Lines, Cause Power Failure

| by Courtney Nunes

Two men in Bridgewater, Maine, are facing criminal charges after gunshots fired into the air hit a utility line and caused the power to go out in several homes.

According to a report from the Bangor Daily News, the dispute began around 8 a.m. Monday when 59-year-old Christian Rotter (pictured) called police to report threats made by 33-year-old James Peaslee.

According to Chief Deputy Darrell Crandall of the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department, three deputy sheriffs were responding to the call when a neighbor called 911 to report gunshots heard in Rotter’s neighborhood on Boundary Line Road.

When deputy sheriffs arrived at the scene, they found damage to the utility line near Rotter’s home, and the power was out in an unknown number of homes. According to Crandall, police later found an AK-47 in Rotter’s home, which they determined was shot into the air during the dispute.

No one was injured in the incident.

Rotter reportedly faced a felony conviction for assault with a deadly weapon stemming from a 1991 charge in Rhode Island, so he was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, reckless conduct with a firearm and criminal mischief.

Peaslee was reportedly summoned for criminal mischief.

The cause for the feud between the men is still unclear, adds the Bangor Daily News. The investigation in this case is ongoing.

According to the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, Maine state law allows “every citizen [the] right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.”

Additionally, no permit is required to possess a rifle, shotgun or handgun.

“It is lawful to possess a machine gun that is legally registered and possessed in compliance with all federal laws and regulations,” the law adds.

Sources: Bangor Daily News, NRA-ILA