Ira man denies firearm threat
By Gordon Dritschilo
A man on probation for shooting up a car was in court on a fresh weapons charge Monday.
Nathan J. Butler, 19, of Route 133 in Ira, pleaded innocent Monday in Rutland criminal court to a single charge of aggravated assault with a weapon. The charge carries a maximum of 15 years in prison. Butler was held for a lack of $5,000 bail.
Butler and his girlfriend arrived at 129 River St. early Saturday evening, according to Rutland City Police, in search of his girlfriend’s ex-husband, 28-year-old Ricky Chandler. The address was home to friends of Chandler’s, according to affidavits, who said he had been drinking and was sleeping it off outside in his car.
Witnesses, including Chandler, described Butler waking Chandler and confronting him with a handgun, according to police. They described Chandler as bleeding from the face, but none of them, not even Chandler, were able to tell police how he suffered the injury, according to affidavits.
Chandler described Butler pointing the gun at him and screaming, police said, ordering him to get out of his car and into Butler’s truck. Chandler told police he feared for his life, started his car and drove away.
“Ricky (Chandler) did not remember driving from the house and said the next thing he remembered was being near the park in Fair Haven where his sister picked him up and brought him to Glens Falls hospital,” police wrote in an affidavit.
Police also said Chandler said he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.124 when he arrived at the hospital, where he was treated for a cut above his right eye.
Police said they were made aware of the incident when they responded to a report of a fuel spill in the road on River Street, left by Butler’s truck, and were approached by witnesses while waiting for the fire department to arrive. Police said they asked why none of the witnesses called 911 during the incident and were not given a reason.
Police said they located Butler at his home in Ira and while Butler agreed to speak to police, none of what he said to them was described in the affidavits. The only indication of motive came from one of the witnesses, who police said described Butler telling him he was looking for Chandler due to monetary and personal disputes.
In court Monday, prosecutors and Judge Theresa S. DiMauro noted that Butler was on probation for an incident last year in which police said he fired four shotgun blasts of birdshot into a parked Hyundai Elantra during a dispute with a neighbor over a woman.