CHARLEROI – A North Charleroi man is in custody on charges he placed police officers in danger Tuesday while making a false report that he was preparing to shoot an intruder at his home.
Charleroi Regional police charged the suspect, James Fine, 59, with attempted aggravated assault and reckless endangerment after officers discovered there was no intruder at his 537 Conrad Ave. residence, court records show.
Police said officers believed Fine became angry because the department had towed his vehicle a few days earlier.
Fine allegedly called Washington County 911 dispatch center about 11:30 p.m. from his porch stating he had a loaded firearm aimed at the intruder.
A neighbor who witnessed the call later told police he saw Fine yelling into his phone, that no one was near him at the time, police said in charging documents.
A dispatcher asked Fine to put the weapon down, but he refused, police noted in the affidavit.
An officer then called Fine and asked him to “secure the gun.” He refused and hung up on the officer, the record indicates.
State troopers and West Brownsville police responded to the scene, staging themselves until Fine became distracted. They rushed him and ordered him to drop the weapon.
He refused and was then taken to the floor, police said.
He was armed with a semiautomatic handgun with one round in its chamber and a fully loaded magazine.
Police also charged him with making a false report, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.
He remained Thursday in Washington County jail on $150,000 bond set by District Judge Joshua Kanalis.