Details released on Rochester man who fired rifle in backyard — (G J Fosters News)

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G J Fosters News

Posted Tuesday Apr 10, 2007 at 9:53 AM

By AARON SANBORN, Democrat Staff Writer

ROCHESTER ­ The local man arrested on Friday for firing a rifle in his backyard told police “he was firing off shots to celebrate the 4th of July,” according to a court affidavit.

Prosecutors still are not alleging a reason for why 52-year-old Kirk Johnson shot off several rounds from his .308 rifle in the backyard of his 5 Eastern Ave. home but it was revealed during his video arraignment on Monday afternoon at Rochester District Court that he takes several prescription medications, including Prozac, and is battling alcoholism.

Johnson faces one felony charge of reckless conduct for firing the rifle in a residential neighborhood and misdemeanor charges of assault of a police officer, attempted assault of a police officer and criminal threatening.

According to the affidavit, Johnson was firing shots up into the air on Friday night, which prompted residents in the area to call police. When police arrived Johnson began yelling at them and called them “terrorists.”

Police located 20 spent cartridges in Johnson’s backyard and found his gun in the trunk of an acquaintance’s vehicle.

The affidavit states an acquaintance at Johnson’s house when he was firing the rifle allegedly took the gun from Johnson’s home and placed it in his trunk, where police reportedly found it in plain view.

No charges have been filed against the acquaintance and Capt. Paul Callaghan said police are still investigating his involvement in the case.

During Johnson’s arraignment Assistant County Attorney Katherine Broderick said the state has “serious concerns for the safety of the public,” not only because of what happened with the rifle but because what took place when he was arrested.

While in handcuffs Johnson allegedly kicked Sgt. Anthony Deluca in the knee.

Johnson then made another attempt to assault Deluca in the station’s booking room when he allegedly broke free from one officer and lunged at Deluca. Johnson then made threats toward Deluca and his family, Broderick said in court.

Johnson also allegedly lied to the bail commissioner about owning a weapon, according to the affidavit.

Broderick asked for Johnson’s bail to remain at $20,000 cash but Judge Daniel Cappiello lowered it to $5,000 cash.

Johnson has one charge on his record for operating under the influence in Maine but has no criminal record in New Hampshire.

During his opportunity to address Cappiello, Johnson told the judge he was on several medications and taking part in weekly AA meetings, but said he “wasn’t doing too well,” with his alcohol problem.

Johnson also claimed he was mad a police because they slammed his head into the pavement when they arrested him.

“Yes, I was very angry,” Johnson told Cappiello.

Cappiello said Johnson’s bail will be converted into personal recognizance if he’s accepted into the Strafford Community Corrections program for monitoring and he gets a mental health referral. He’s also prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Johnson is scheduled to appear in court on April 17 for a probable cause hearing on his felony charge.

A trial has been scheduled for June 5 regarding Johnson’s three misdemeanor charges.