Thursday, July 14, 2005

A Brief Thank You Note

OK, I know I said earlier that blogging would be light over the next couple of days, but it's hard to stand by that statement when the local papers insist on dropping stories like this one in my lap.

This article definitely qualifies as "too tough to excerpt" so I'll have to post the whole thing (in the event the link gets archived in the future). Self-explanatory highlights are, of course, by yours truly and are to be followed by cries of "Dumbass!" or "I'm so shocked!", as the reader deems appropriate.

Gunfire at air station leads to 4 arrests; Police say random shots could have struck officers

The Patriot Ledger

ROCKLAND - Bullets ricocheted off the ground in front of them and struck nearby trees as police officers traipsed through the woods at the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station in a late-night search for people firing a gun.

The search led to the arrests of four men who allegedly were drinking and shooting indiscriminately into the woods, Rockland police Lt. Barry Ashton said.

At about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday, a Forest Street resident reported hearing gunshots in the woods across from his house, Ashton said.

When police officers Larry Buiel and Richard Novio arrived, they walked about a mile into the woods and onto the air base property, Ashton said.

As the officers approached a clearing, they "could hear people talking and the gunshots became loud and distinct," he said.

Ashton said several 10-shot volleys were fired near the officers and they "heard projectiles hitting the trees and branches around them ... and ricocheting off the ground in front of them."

Buiel and Novio then shined their flashlights into a clearing and saw five people, one of whom was holding what "appeared to be a shiny object," Ashton said.

The officers noticed several spent .40-caliber shell casings on the ground. Open bottles and cans of beer and several unused boxes of ammunition also littered the clearing, Ashton said.

The five people ran away on a gravel path.

Rockland police called Weymouth police to ask that a dog be brought to the scene.

John Marcella, 26, of 63 Newbridge St., Hingham, emerged from the woods and asserted that he had done nothing wrong and that the loud noises were made by exploding fireworks, Ashton said.

Police arrested Marcella and charged him with trespassing, disturbing the peace, assault by means of a dangerous weapon, malicious destruction of property, drinking in public and unlawful possession of ammunition.

After Weymouth police arrived with a dog, three more people were found in the woods.

William Nickerson, 26, of 166 Hull St., Hingham, was arrested and charged with trespassing, disturbing the peace, assault by means of a dangerous weapon, malicious destruction of property, drinking in public and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Joseph R. Simmons, 26, of 62 Concord St., Rockland, and Kenneth Malloy, 23, of New Bedford were arrested and charged with trespassing and disturbing the peace.

All four men were taken in a Weymouth van to the Rockland police station.

The fifth person being sought has yet to be identified. Police said he will probably be summoned to court and charged with trespassing and disturbing the peace.

"The officers did a great job on this case," Ashton said. "The suspects were allegedly firing a handgun at anything. If they shot in a slightly different direction, the officers could have been hit."

Ashton said Malloy and Simmons were released on bail Tuesday night, and Marcella and Nickerson were arraigned in Hingham District Court yesterday morning.

A dog from the Plymouth County sheriff's department was led into the woods on the air base and "within 10 to 15 minutes" found a SIG Sauer .40-caliber handgun, Ashton said.

Police later determined that the gun had been stolen in Connecticut.

The gun was fired near the east end of the base's east-west runway.

Thanks a fucking lot, guys! It's douchewads like YOU that inspire our legislators to deprive ME of my right to defend myself and my family from, well, douchewads like you.

The cops should have just confiscated the gun and told them to go home - making sure to drive extra-fast and reckless-like.