NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Cars were vandalized, chickens were targeted and a child dodged bullets.
An apparent dispute between neighbors on Staten Island turned increasingly violent and bizarre, and now one of those neighbors is under arrest.
“We just heard a gunshot,” resident Sharon Ranieri said. “It was loud.”
Ranieri’s daughter, 11-year-old Alexis, said that she could hear seven bullets being fired.
“The third shot flew past my head, and then something hit me in the arm,” Alexis said.
It turns out that she wasn’t hit at all. Her mother, sitting next to her, looked over to see something sticking out of a basement window next door.
“It looked like a black tip of a barbecue lighter, and I saw some sort of weird fireball,” Sharon explained.
The scene took place on Woodcutters Lane in the Bay Terrace section, where the Ranieri’s next-door neighbor has a chicken coop.
It all began on Sunday evening. Alexis said that there were about a dozen birds in the coop, and she and a friend were up on her deck when they decided to throw a couple of pieces of chalk at the coop.
Her mother said that the woman next door started cursing at them, and the next day her daughter’s bike — and the family’s car — were vandalized.
“My car was keyed and spray-painted,” Sharon claimed.
And that evening came the gunshots.
Police came to the scene and found bullets in the deck, in several trees and in a neighbor’s siding. With a search warrant, police found a .38 revolver and 43 rounds of ammunition in a safe. The chickens are now inside with dogs and cats.
No one answered the door at the home of 43-year-old Elizabeth Gelman, who was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and ammunition.
Police and the district attorney were waiting for ballistics tests to see if the bullets they recovered match the gun they have. Meanwhile, the family was wondering if it’s safe for them to even sit out on their own deck.
If the bullets match the gun, the charges could be upgraded to felonies.
What a bizarre, disturbing story. Offer your thoughts and comments in the section below…