ROSEMOUNT, Minn. (WCCO) – A Minnesota man is charged with two felonies after police say he admitted to pointing a shotgun at his neighbor over how he was teaching his daughter to ride a bike.
Sixty-one-year-old Gary Eugene Drake, of Rosemount, faces one count of second-degree assault and one of making terroristic threats in the May 25 incident. That night, Drake told police he was upset over how his neighbor was treating his daughter and pointed a shotgun at him. When being arrested, he said, “Maybe next time I should have shot him.”
“It makes absolutely no difference under the law, if you point a gun, whether it’s loaded or unloaded, it’s still assault in the second degree – assault with a deadly weapon,” said James Backstrom, the Dakota County Attorney.
A criminal complaint states police were called to Drake’s home on the 14000 block of Daytona Way after getting a call from his neighbor. He told police he was teaching his 7-year-old to ride on Daytona Way near their home when Drake began to yell at him. At first, he couldn’t make out what Drake was saying, but then he heard Drake criticize how he was teaching his daughter.
“If you don’t like my advice, get off the street,” Drake reportedly said.
The neighbor said he told Drake that he didn’t own the street. After that, Drake got angry, retrieved his shotgun and pointed it at his neighbor, threatening to shoot him. Police identified the shotgun as a Remington 870.
At that point, Drake’s wife made him lower his gun and dragged him inside, the neighbor said. But Drake was back out moments later, as the neighbor was walking away, saying, “I’m going to kill ya.”
Drake’s wife told police she tried to stop her husband. She also turned over her husband’s shotgun and another rifle to police.
Before being arrested, Drake told officers he’d been drinking. But when asked if the alcohol had played a role in his actions, he said, “absolutely not.”
If convicted of both charges, Drake could face a combined maximum penalty of 12 years in prison and/or a $24,000 fine.
This is the latest recent incident in Minnesota of neighborhood disputes ending with the use of a gun.
On May 5, a New Brighton man allegedly shot and killed his neighbor over a deer feeding dispute. Then on May 23, a Carver County man allegedly shot at his neighbor and his 11-year-old son while the two were planting corn. He was said to be upset over the noise.
“It’s really sad, you know, to see this type of thing occur,” said Backstrom, “especially in this neighborhood amongst neighbors. It’s sad to have it occur anywhere quite frankly.”