A Manchester man was charged with six counts of assault after he allegedly fired a shotgun into the air and pointed the firearm at a vehicle, police say.
Jason Uhler, 20, of the 4700 block of Wentz Road, was charged with three counts each of first-degree and second-degree assault Aug. 15, according to online court records. Uhler was released on $5,000 bond Aug. 16, online court records show.
According to the statement of charges, Uhler and two men were at a gas pump at Jiffy Mart in Hampstead when a Jeep pulled up Aug. 9 just before 10:40 p.m. One of the Jeep’s occupants exchanged words with Uhler and two of his friends before getting back into the Jeep and driving away, according to the statement. While the Jeep “pulled down by the traffic light at Main Street,” the same man got out of the Jeep and came toward the trio again at the Jiffy Mart, then Uhler grabbed his “shotgun” out of his truck, loaded it with birdshot, and fired into the air, the statement reads. The man got back into the Jeep and left, according to the statement.
Uhler told Hampstead Police he “felt threatened” when the man came toward him, the statement reads. Police found two shotguns in Uhler’s Ford F-150, according to the statement.
Police found the Jeep at the Hampstead car wash and asked the three occupants about the incident, but they were “vague about the details of their involvement,” the statement reads. The men said they saw Uhler fire the shotgun into the air, not at them, and said they did not want Uhler arrested and did not want to press charges, according to the statement.
Police informed Uhler it is illegal to fire a firearm within town limits and warned him against doing so again, the statement reads.
On Aug. 13, police again reviewed surveillance footage from the Jiffy Mart, but this time rewound it further and saw Uhler point the shotgun at the Jeep as it backed out of the parking spot, according to the statement. The Jiffy Mart employee did not rewind the footage far enough the first time police reviewed it, the statement reads.
Police interviewed Uhler again Aug. 13, according to the statement.
Uhler said while he was pumping gas with his friends, a Jeep pulled up and a man in the rear passenger seat “yelled something about being white and having a staring problem to” Uhler and his friends, the statement reads. The man who yelled at Uhler and his friends threatened to assault and spit on them, then went into the Jiffy Mart, according to the statement. When the man got back into the Jeep he started to record Uhler and his friends as the Jeep pulled away, the statement reads.
Uhler said he grabbed his shotgun, held it with one arm, and aimed it “towards the ground in the Jeep’s direction,” according to the statement. When the Jeep stopped at the traffic light, the man who yelled and another man got out and came toward Uhler’s group, then Uhler fired the “warning shot" into the air, the statement reads. Uhler said he and his friends had no previous contact with the people in the Jeep, according to the statement.
Uhler declined to comment when reached by phone. An official from the Carroll County Public Defender’s Office said the office does not typically comment on cases. A court date is scheduled for Sept. 18.