Friday's blizzard seems to have provoked an incident of "snow rage" when an incensed homeowner threatened private plow truck operators with a double-barrel shotgun over snow he claimed had been pushed onto his property, Middletown Police said.
James S. Bankowski, 56, of George Street is being held on a $50,000 bond on second-degree breach of peace, second-degree threatening and second-degree reckless endangerment charges. The arrest stems from a dispute between a landscaper and his co-worker and Bankowski at Knoll Crest condos on Feb. 8 at 3:42 p.m.
According to police, a Country Club Landscape employee was clearing the Knoll Crest condos parking lot of snow by pushing a small pile across the street near Bankowski's house when a city plow passed by.
The report says the landscaper saw Bankowski come onto his front porch yelling and waving his arms, go back inside, and return with double-barrel 10-gauge shotgun. he waved back and forth, then raised over his head with one arm.
The co-worker told police he believed Bankowski wanted to talk to him so he walked closer, then noticed he had a shotgun. The report says Bankowski said, "tell that guy to put the snow on his property or I'm going to blow him up."
Police called Bankowski and he admitted to the confrontation, the report says, then agreed to come outside, saying, "I would love to." He told police he was watching the landscaper push snow onto his property, which upset him, so he grabbed his 10-gauge, double-barrel shotgun, which he admitted was loaded, and swore at the workers, saying, "get that [expletive] snow out of here."
"I never intended to shoot anyone, just wanted to scare them enough to get my point across," the report quotes Bankowski as saying.
Knoll Crest condos are located off Washington Street (Route 66), near the Middlefield line.
He was charged with second-degree breach of peace, second-degree threatening and second-degree reckless endangerment. He's being held on a $50,000 non-surety bond and due back in court on Feb. 22.