A Columbus man was arrested Sunday for threatening to shoot a teenage boy if the boy didn’t stop throwing snowballs toward the car of the man’s girlfriend.
Michael W. Todd, 56, of 1410 Chestnut St., faces a preliminary charge of intimidation with a deadly weapon, a Class D felony, said Columbus Police spokesman Lt. Matt Myers.
The incident took place shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday in the area of 14th and Chestnut streets. The 14-year-old told investigating officer Toby Combest that while he was throwing snowballs his neighbor came out of his house with a shotgun over his shoulder.
While Todd is not accused of pointing the weapon at the boy, Myers said his remarks were threatening.
“(Todd) told him he had better act his age, or he would shoot him and let him lay,” Myers said.
The teen ran into his own home to explain the incident to a parent, who immediately called police.
Todd admitted to Combest that he approached the teen with a shotgun over his shoulder in an effort to scare the boy, Myers said. However, he said the weapon was not loaded and denied he verbally threatened the teen.
An adult witness’s description of the incident corroborated the teen’s version of events, according to the police report.
Combest found and confiscated a .410-gauge shotgun in Todd’s home along with a number of shells.
“While you have a right to defend yourself, taking a gun out and making statements that you’re are going to shoot somebody is serious,” Myers said. “This type of incident is not even remotely appropriate and is not going to be tolerated.”
If convicted of the felony charge, Todd could be sentenced from six months to three years in prison and faces fines of up to $10,000.