A 44-year-old St. Louis Park man is facing a felony charge of second-degree assault after he admitted to displaying an assault weapon to trick-or-treaters because he believed they had taken candy from his child.
According to the criminal complaint, police were called to the intersection of 27th Street and Brunswick Avenue at about 9:15 p.m. on Halloween to a report of possible shots fired. Upon arrival, police spoke with several children who said a man had pulled over and yelled at their group of friends before pulling out a long gun. They said they fled and scattered, and one witness claimed to hear five shots.
The description of the man and his passenger matched the description of a man who had recently been stopped a block away for driving erratically. Police say that during that encounter, Orrin John Hager told police he was looking for "older kids."
Officers then went to Hager's home and found he was eager to tell officers what had happened, saying he was very angry that candy was stolen from his child.
Hager told officers he got into his car to find the "kids" that were responsible, and eventually came upon the group of trick-or-treaters he believed to be responsible. He said he got out of his car to confront them, but he said they did not take him seriously and gave him "attitude."
Investigators say Hager admitted to going back into the car to get a gun from the passenger compartment, adding that his wife and two children were in the car at the time. He says he held the gun by his side but never pointed it or fired it.
After the group fled, Hager said he got back into his car and followed one of the kids he believed to be responsible for the candy theft but eventually put the gun in his trunk and went home. He was heading home when he was stopped by police over his driving.
Police arrested Hager and took custody of the weapon, which was described as an AK047 style assault weapon. It was not loaded, and officers found the sound of shots fired was unrelated to the case.
Hager was booked into jail, but is now out on bond. If convicted, he could face a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine.