Most everyone is aware that drinking and driving is a lethal and illegal
combination. There may be one more warning that could be useful -- guns
and sleeping are another potentially dangerous duo. One Pennsylvania man
is now facing criminal charges, including one related to
gun charges after his weapon went off unintentionally.
Police say that the 37-year-old man told them that he had just finished
fastening a new trigger mechanism on his assault rifle and was attempting
to view online videos concerning its operation. However, the officers
say he claimed that he was unable to stay awake and dozed off with the
firearm resting on his legs. Reportedly, he was awakened to the sound
of the weapon going off, shortly before 3 a.m.
The residents in the adjoining apartment stated that they were also roused
from sleep by the sound of the rifle. The bullet apparently wound up in
their residence, just over their mattress. Additionally, there was damage
reported to their ceiling and one more bullet-sized hole on the opposing
wall. The report also stated that two young children were in the neighboring
residence at the time the gun went off.
The man, who had apparently gone without sleep for some time, stated that
he had a vague recollection of loading the weapon, but he did not recall
readying the rifle to shoot. Pennsylvania authorities have filed a criminal
complaint against the man, including gun charges for firing a weapon in
a residence. The man did not intentionally fire the weapon -- he couldn't
even recall chambering a round -- but he is also charged with aggravated
assault, all a part of the case that he will likely seek to challenge,
while forcing the prosecutors to prove their accusations in a court of law.
Source: lehighvalleylive.com, "Wind Gap man accidentally fires gun after falling asleep while watching
YouTube, police say", Lynn Ondrusek, June 17 2014