LITTLE FERRY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New Jersey priest was arrested after he allegedly threatened a boy with a functioning musket, an incident that may have been spurred by a football rivalry.
According to authorities, the incident happened on Sept. 13 at St. Margaret of Cortona Roman Catholic Church in Little Ferry. Witnesses said it happened just before Mass.
The Bergen County prosecutor said 54-year-old Rev. Kevin Carter asked the 8-year-old boy who had just arrived for service with his family to step into one of the rectory’s rooms and stand against a wall.
When the boy did, the priest alleged pointed the unloaded but fully functioning musket at him, prosecutors said.
County Prosecutor John Molinelli said Carter, a New York Giants fan, and the boy, who roots for the Dallas Cowboys, were talking about football shortly before the incident occurred. The two NFL teams were scheduled to play that night, so it’s not clear if the incident was possibly a joke that went bad.
Molinelli said Saturday he doesn’t consider pointing a gun at someone a joke, especially not at little kids.
A parishioner who witnessed the incident reported it to the Archdiocese of Newark late last month, and officials there soon notified the prosecutor’s office.
A search of the rectory turned up the musket along with gun powder, ammunition and other items related to the firearm, the prosecutor’s office said.
Carter is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault by pointing a firearm. Carter was released Saturday after posting $15,000 cash bail.
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