MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 56-year-old Apple Valley man told police that events in a dream led him to call 911 last week, reporting his wallet, phone and pistol were missing, authorities say.

What officers eventually found, however, led to charges for the man, who at the time of the incident was said to be “extremely intoxicated.”

Richard Carothers is charged one count of recklessly firing a gun, a felony. If convicted, Carothers could face a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

According to a convoluted criminal complaint:

Police initially arrived on the 250 block of Elm Drive just after 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 14 to investigate a burglary. Carothers had reported his wallet and pistol missing, and his neighbor reported hearing four or five loud pops, possibly gun shots.

Officers first spoke with the neighbor, who confirmed her son had heard the pops and that Carothers had stepped outside, yelling, “Call 911.” The neighbor also told officers that Carothers seemed intoxicated and “very agitated,” and that he told her he was missing several items.

Here’s where the complaint becomes hard to follow.

When officers first spoke with Carothers, he told them not to worry.

“I already cracked off some rounds, man,” said Carothers, according to the complaint.

Police found six spent shell casings in the snow. When police asked if he fired the shots, he told them he was concerned that his wallet and pistol had been stolen.

At this point, an officer reported that Carothers had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and would jump from telling one story to another. He appeared to be intoxicated.

When police asked Carothers what had happened that night, he told them he’d been sleeping and that some of the events in a dream might have caused him to call 911.

He explained he was on his couch when his dog woke him up. He said that because his dog was agitated, he became agitated. It was at this time he looked around and determined his wallet had been stolen. He also remembered having walked to his bedroom in his dream, taking a 9 mm pistol from his nightstand.

An officer asked Carothers if he fired his pistol in his dream. Carothers responded, saying that he did fire the pistol.

Carothers said he shot at a person who was running from his home.

But when an officer asked if he shot at a dog, Carothers admitted that he did shoot at a dog. He said he then hid his pistol under the bed covers. Police found the pistol “wedged behind some blankets and a television” in Carothers’ bedroom.

As police investigated, they learned that Apple Valley Police had sent an officer to Carothers’ home earlier that day. That afternoon Carothers had reported that the neighbor’s dog was in his yard and acting aggressively toward him. He told the responding officer that if the dog came into his yard again he was going to shoot it with his pistol.

The officer told Carothers that shooting the pistol would be illegal in the city. He then spoke with Carothers about other measures he could take with aggressive neighborhood dogs.


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