STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – A Stamford man is under arrest after police say he fired his gun into a busy park.
On Wednesday night around 6:30 p.m., police say they received 911 calls about a man firing off two gunshots in their neighborhood, reports CBS2’s Alice Gainer.
When they arrived, they found 68-year-old James Denardo in his Cadillac with two guns he had just purchased: a loaded two-shot Derringer and a 9mm Beretta.
He told police “he wanted to see how they worked,” according to Stamford Captain Richard Conklin.
Police also found quite a few mini bottles of vodka in the car, many of them empty.
Police say Denardo allegedly fired off the shots from the dead-end of Fourth Street across Washington Boulevard and into the park.
At the time, Scalzi Park was busy with a softball game with kids around.
“People that were playing baseball out on the park actually saw the bullets hit out in the field,” said one witness. “We’re extremely lucky no one was hurt.”
Denardo is now charged with 50 counts of reckless endangerment, a count for all of the people in the park as well as 10 counts of risk of injury to a minor.
They say he struggled with police which is why he has a bandage above his eye in his mugshot.
Neighbors on Fourth Street where he also lives say up until recently he worked as a security guard, but was injured on the job and had shoulder surgery.
They’re surprised by this incident.
“He’s never been violent, he’s always even-tempered,” said one neighbor.
“I think he’s a wonderful person from my interactions with him and from what I’ve heard about what happened my guess is he just did something stupid but no ill intent,” said another neighbor.
What do police think?
“Line of sight, he might not have seen anyone but from living in that area, he has to know the park is just a short skip across that thoroughfare,” said Conklin.
“Baseball games and kids playing, I’m shocked and I’m concerned,” said Stambord resident Tonya Horton.
Park-goers are hoping this gunfire was just an isolated incident.
Police say they revoked his pistol permit and confiscated his guns and ammo.
Denardo was unable to post bond and remains behind bars.