June 01, 2020
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Two Bridgewater men charged after AK-47 allegedly fired into air, knocking out power

Aroostook County Jail | BDN
Aroostook County Jail | BDN
Christian Rotter

BRIDGEWATER, Maine — Two Bridgewater men are facing criminal charges following a dispute Monday during which police believe an AK-47 rifle was fired into the air, striking a utility line and knocking out power to at least one home.

Christian Rotter, 59, of 277 Boundary Line Road called police just before 8 a.m. Monday to report that James Peaslee, 33, had just been at his residence making threats, according to Chief Deputy Darrell Crandall of the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department.

Rotter told police that Peaslee brandished a stun gun before leaving the property and returning to his own land on Boundary Line Road, Crandall said in a press release issued Tuesday.

Crandall said that just as three deputy sheriffs were responding to the call, a neighbor called 911 reporting that they had heard gunshots in the area of the Rotter residence.

When the deputies arrived, they found the power line near Rotter’s home was damaged and power was out, according to Crandall. No one was reported injured.

It wasn’t clear from the release how many homes were affected, and a message left for Crandall Tuesday afternoon was not immediately returned.

The officers subsequently recovered an AK-47 rifle from Rotter’s residence that deputies believe had been used to fire at least three shots into the air, damaging the power line.

Additional evidence was recovered from the scene, Crandall said Tuesday.

Rotter, who has a felony conviction for assault with a deadly weapon stemming from a 1991 charge in Rhode Island, was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, reckless conduct with a firearm and criminal mischief. He was taken to the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton.

Rotter remains at the Aroostook County Jail pending an initial court appearance scheduled for Wednesday.

Peaslee was summoned for criminal threatening.

Crandall said that it is not yet clear what sparked the feud between the two men, but the investigation is continuing.

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