A resident of Westerly, Rhode Island, was arrested on Tuesday night after police said he fired corncobs at a neighbour’s house with a homemade potato gun. Jeffrey M. Osella, 50, was taken into custody on charges of disorderly conduct and firing in a compact area.
Officers were called to at around 7pm after a neighbour reported that Osella began shooting corncobs at his house after a yelling match. The police said he used a potato gun, a PVC pipe that propels objects with a light accelerant, such as hair spray, that can be ignited by a grill lighter.
Another witness told officers that Osella’s daughter was nearly hit by one of the corncobs while she was walking home. Interim Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said the two men have had disputes regularly over the course of the past 13 years. Osella’s neighbour recently listed his home for sale.
He said he was concerned that Osella’s behaviour would cause damage and reduce the value of his property or hinder a sale.
After speaking with the neighbour, police reported that they went to Osella’s home, and that he came to the door shirtless with multiple corn kernels stuck to his chest. Osella denied shooting at the neighbour, but admitted firing the potato gun towards the neighbour’s home.
He was taken into custody without further incident and later released on bond.