St. Margaret of Cortona Church in Little Ferry, N.J. this week is dealing with the arrest of its pastor, The Rev. Kevin Carter, 54. Even more shocking is the charge: aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child. However, on closer examination, the arrest and charge seems wildly out of place according to published reports. What was a gag based on football rivalry has turned into a full fledged criminal case due to the refusal of the police or prosecutors to show a modicum of discretion or logic.
This whole mess arose when an eight-year-old boy showed up in a Cowboys jersey in the middle of New York Giants country. Carter saw the boy and called him into a side room. In front of witnesses, he pulled out a Civil War musket and pretended to prepare to execute the boy by pointing it at him. A parishioner was aghast and called the Archdiocese which called the police (after the abuse scandals, the church is now under strict instructions to call police on any allegation of abuse). Father Carter was then arrested and charged.
Here is my problem with this case. First, no one has suggested that Carter was actually trying to scare the boy or intended to harm him. Second, while the musket could have been fired, I am assuming that this is a muzzle loader that would have taken steps to actually load — even if it could fire (which police say it could). Third, it is not clear that Father Carter knew the musket could be fired.
This does not mean that Father Carter was in the right. It is extremely poor judgment to point any weapon, even a vintage weapon, at a child. Had this been a toy gun, there would be no issue. There are many tragic cases of people who assume a gun is unloaded — only to cut down a loved one or acquaintance.
So what are you left with? An act of good-natured, but ill-considered fun. It was a mistake. But I fail to see the need for a criminal prosecution.
Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli clearly views this differently. Malignly said “Prior to the mass beginning, Father Kevin Carter asked to see him in one of the rectory rooms. Once in the room, Father Carter had the victim stand against a wall. He then retrieved a long gun from nearby and pointed it at the child with an indication that he would shoot him.” Yes, but various witnesses have said that it was clearly a joke and people were laughing. Doesn’t that factor into prosecutorial discretion? Does Molinelli think that the priest was serious about executing the boy and knowingly put him at risk? If he knew the musket was a working weapon, this was a very very stupid thing to due. However, it seems clear that he it was unloaded (which was true). (In fairness of Molinelli, police did find gun powder and ammunition in the room so someone clearly knew it was a working weapon if the ammunition was for this musket). Molinelli insists that Carter should not be given special treatment because he is a priest. That is far enough, but I would have the same reservations about prosecuting a non-priest. Indeed, the testimony of credible eyewitnesses would seem to support the exercise of prosecutorial discretion to forego a prosecution in the case.
Richard Fritzky, an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, was apparently a witness and said that the musket was brought down originally to show him.
“I was in the rectory at Saint Margaret de Cortona in Little Ferry visiting Father Kevin Carter at the very moment that the incident with the Civil War era rifle, the young 8 year old boy with the Cowboys Jersey and the alleged threat took place . . . I can definitively state that the only reason the rifle was in his hands at all was because, fellow Civil War buffs that we are, he brought it down to show it to me and was in the process of taking it back upstairs, when the boy and his parents or parent, I assume, came walking through the long hallway or entrance to the rectory from the church . . . I could clearly see Father Kevin to my left and what I witnessed and heard was this: he feigned being struck and hurt that anyone would dare come into his home with Cowboys colors on and he loudly and good naturedly teased the boy, who had quite apparently come to do the same to Father Kevin,” he said. “It was all loud and good humored fun and nothing but, as everyone involved, including the boy, was clearly laughing. In fact, boisterously so.”
He insists that Carter did not raise the rife or threaten anyone.
Of course, the kid is not the only Cowboys fan in the state.
Carter is charged with one count of fourth degree aggravated assault by pointing a firearm and one count of third degree endangering the welfare of a child. Bail was set at $15,000.
What do you think?
63 thoughts on “New Jersey Priest Arrested, Charged With Aggravated Assault For Allegedly Pretending That He Would Shoot Boy For Wearing Cowboys Jersey To His Church”
Sounds as though mama is looking for the collection plate to overturn in her lap.
Face it, the kid got off lightly. Many catholic boys are raped by their priest.
Of course, this is the same state where someone was prosecuted for unlawful possession of a firearm — one dating back to the Revolutionary War, that is!!
The pastor showed extremely bad judgement. I was raised that you never point a gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot, “unloaded” or not. My Dad said to always assume a gun is loaded.
That said, it takes a lot of effort to load a musket. It is conceivable that someone could have done so without the pastor’s knowledge.
This was just a poorly conceived prank, and certainly does not rise to the level of criminal charges.
People have blind faith that “it won’t happen to us.” America will be free and unchanging no matter how much we change its government from liberty to socialism.
But why do people think the US will last forever as a bastion of freedom? No single society has ever withstood the test of time. The greatest civilizations have all fallen, eventually.
Beldar does hit an important point. All the politicians, limo liberal, Hollywood elite who lecture us about why we should not have guns all have armed goons protecting them. The worst is the midget, Bloomberg.
There is this human from the State of New Jersey who is running for President. He is very overweight. He has body guards. It is ok for him to use guns but not for you to use guns. Fatso is the name they call him down here in New Orleans when he shows up on the TV screen at the bar. Fatso looks Italian. The priest looks Italian although the name does not fit. Usually when a priest aims a gun at a male kid the priest is trying to get something illegal such as exercising his priestly right to pedophilia. Give the priest a lie detector test under oath after he swears to God and Dog. If he is not a pedophile and was only in jest then take his gun away but not his parish. A church is like a mental ward. Churchs have a flock of mentally deranged humans who believe in some God up on Cloud Nine. And they had some guy named Hey Zeus who explained things to them 2015 years ago. And they think the Earth is flat. The humans in America need to elect some athiests who do not hail from New Jersey or Old Jersey or New York. Some person skinny who does not praise Lard on Sunday and then eat Crisco on Monday.
Forget it Jake, it’s Jersey
And I like Paul’s Annie Oakley suggestion for the $10 bill
I am a dog in favor of all of the provisions of the first ten Bill of Rights and the three Reconstruction Amendments. I dont want some state to deprive me of my rights, including the right to bear arms. I dont want some city to deprive me of my rights either. Aiming or pointing a gun though is a horse of a different color. The guy should not have pointed the gun at a dog or human. But the prosecutor is out of line. From what I have just said I dont think that anyone on the blog can call me a lib tard or a conservative. Libertarian? Yes. But Libertarian is often called conservative.
Libertarian is not selective on being in favor of all of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights. A conservative would be in favor of some and not others. A liberal might like most of the Bill of Rights provisions but not the Second Amendment right to bear arms. So, there you have it. I am a libertarian. If you call me a lib tard then I will respond that you are a retard. Then the left wing will say that the use of retard word is a slur and the right wing might say: so what. I promise that I will not fall asleep at a Yankees game. And if they photograph me and put it on tv as I am asleep at a game I will not sue. By the way: Astros 3 and Yankees Zero in the Wildcard Game.
Aw hell, one more for good measure:
THIS is what I was ranting about in that last paragraph: Fatherless benefits!!!
The whole thing:
Sorry for this not being directly post-related, but it all ties in with das beeg gubber MinT. And isn’t that really the point of this post? The bureaucracy is too thick, at all levels. It makes the people THICK too when they have to make decisions.
I was thinking Annie Oakley would be perfect on the $10 bill.
Nick, thanks 🙂
I like that graphic. I got it from Dan Mitchell’s International Liberty blog. Here is the specific entry (full of good info for truth seekers) https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2015/09/05/if-gun-control-works-in-europe-where-do-terrorists-get-their-weapons/
I also can’t help but wonder why these people insist on carrying the legacy forward of racist gun control. It was originally devised in the USA to keep freed slaves from owning firearms, and therefore protecting themselves and their families from KKK Democrats(although when I say KKK Democrats, I’m more referring to Bull Connor and Robert Byrd, who were KKK Democrats well into the 20th century.
It’s almost as if they really are racist, and hate black people. They (anti-freedom) want black people to kill themselves- with gang violence (kept going via subsidized war on drugs), with abortion (more black babies aborted than anyone else), with gun control (only the criminal gangs will have guns, leaving the decent folk to be preyed upon), with handouts (a single mom can rake in some 70k in welfare and benefits if there is no dad in the picture- creating incentive for a lack of fathers, which we know is one of the largest predictors for a life of crime.
How about Ida B. Wells for the ten dollar bill?
The military is full of Scots Irish Christians. I don’t know if eight years of Obama can change their minds or their culture. Now if he secretly is filling the ranks of the military with undesirables (socialist Nazi types) will then I guess we have a problem.
So wrap your weapons in cosmoline and burlap and bury them in the backyard and tell the cops they were stolen.
hsk, It’s always good to have you here w/ your perspective. That visual of dictators Steg posted earlier says it all. That cadre has executed over 100 million people. As one of those pictured said, “Killing one man is a tragedy, killing a million is a statistic.” Uncle Joe spoke from experience.
I don’t know, the priest was in the wrong if he pointed the gun at the kid. You Just don’t do that. Especially with the child to really has no discernment.
I remember once I was a kid I was on a camping Trip in one of the kids I was with shot his brother with a BB gun because he was startled. The kids father took a knife and extracted one of the seatbelts and proceeded to beat the kid with it. All the while yelling never point a gun at a living human being.
That was when I was six or seven, I remember it as if it was just yesterday. I have never ever pointed a gun, other than a toy gun, at another human being since I witnessed that spectacle all those many years ago. To this day I think the father did the right thing. He probably should’ve used a switch but he was pissed.
He and been a veteran of World War II or Korea; I don’t remember which one at this point. Those were the days, people didn’t put up with bull ship back then. They took care of business. Now we molly coddle children and adults for that matter.
The priest, if he indeed pointed the gun at the child, should be made to take a firearms safety course and spend the day on the range.
Stupid liberal prosecutor.
Barkin, NJ govt. hates guns just a bit less than NY and has very strict laws. They are working real well in Newark, Camden, Patterson, etc.[that’s sarcasm].
Where does the state of New Jersey stand with regard to gun tolerance? Is it like New York? That city just closed the last gun store in the whole city. The intolerance of guns syndrome is probably why they prosecuted this priest. I predict he will be acquitted. The prosecutor needs to be removed from orifice. I mean office. What would Donald Trump say? Chris Christie? Jack Mehoff up in Connecticut?
Did he get to finish Mass before they arrested him?
If the article is correct, the priest did not aim at the boy and everyone around thought it was a big joke. I see dismissal or acquittal.
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