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Lincoln Gap residents complain about firearm use

11/13/2008

By Kara Herlihy

A dirt section of Lincoln Gap Road has a "wild west mentality," according to several residents who complained of multiple incidents of drunken and disorderly firearm discharge to members of the Warren Select Board at their November 11 meeting.

Lincoln Gap Road resident Sam Krotinger appeared before the select board to express concern over a neighboring property wherein, he said, many of the occupants are "drunk, belligerent and armed."

The property in question is owned by six family members and, according to neighbors' reports, is frequented by several, varying groups of people, many of whom Krotinger said were "friendly and good natured" while some were "extremely unpleasant."

DISCHARGING FIREARMS

Krotinger referenced incidents of firearms being discharged across the road, while under the influence of alcohol and often late in the evening hours. In addition, Krotinger mentioned incidents of deer jacking, which have all been reported to local game wardens.

Attempts have been made on several occasions, according to Krotinger, to speak face to face with the occupants to address the issue, some ending in profanity and "quite unpleasant interactions," he said.

DON'T FEEL SAFE

"We've had issues with these people," he said, and added that while they are often "firing wildly and drunk with hard alcohol out in the open, it was very obvious that it would not be safe to talk to these people."

Krotinger continued, "We don't feel safe walking on our road. We have children and dogs, and we're never sure if there are alcohol and firearms."

The state police and game wardens have been called several times, Krotinger said, but because it takes so long for them to arrive, they haven't been able to catch the activity at the time it's occurring.

ANOTHER LEVEL

"Drunk and disorderly is one thing," said select board chair Burt Bauchner, "but drunk, disorderly, and armed raises it to another level," he continued.

Dale Trombley, one-sixth owner of the home in question, was also present at the meeting to assure that he is "very strict" with his property and never lets anyone enter the home with a firearm. Trombley said he and his immediate family have all been through extensive hunter education and safety classes, and have been using the sandpit for firing guns, instead of on their lawn.

DRAFT A LETTER

Trombley referenced other neighbors who he said have been using high-powered rifles and various firearms on their property. Per the suggestion of the select board, Trombley will serve as the contact person for his family for all future complaints. Trombley also said he would draft a letter addressing the issue to other members of his family that could be responsible for the incidents.

"A few bad apples can spoil the bunch," said select board member Andrew Cunningham. Trombley assured that he would tell his nephews and nieces that they could no longer shoot on the lawn, and would have to use the sandpit.

NOISE ORDINANCES

Krotinger, along with other neighbors, said that the large and ever-changing group of people that frequent the home make it difficult to communicate and deal with their safety concerns.

When questioned about any possible action that the select board could take to prevent the illegal activity from occurring, Town Administrator Cindi Hartshorn-Jones said, "Town noise ordinances are hard to enforce."

"This is not the kind of thing that usually comes to us," Bauchner said. Select board members agreed to contact the state police, game wardens, as well as the town attorney, to ask about firearm rules and regulations. They also suggested that the other involved residents be asked to attend a select board meeting.

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