New Jersey Priest Arrested, Charged With Aggravated Assault For Allegedly Pretending That He Would Shoot Boy For Wearing Cowboys Jersey To His Church

njpriestpic2St. 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.

JLM outside CHBergen 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”

  1. Every day in the US, 300,000 people drive drunk, and only about 4,000 are arrested. Over 30 people die every day in the US @ the hands of drunk drivers.

  2. Steg, “Gun deaths” are the key propaganda weasel words. 60% of gun deaths in the US are suicide. Japan has TWICE our suicide rate and hardly any guns. They use knives. Would these haters feel better if Americans stabbed themselves instead of shooting themselves? Shooting yourself is more humane.

    1. Nick, Some people just trust those in government to protect them even thought people in government have been the largest single group of mass murderers in the world. Almost ever country on this planet has been overthrown by some other government some time in their history and almost every government has been overthrown by their own military. The tyranny of government may not be a threat this moment but things chance rapidly. People who don’t think it can happen here suffer from what is called the normalcy syndrome which is self explanatory. But don’t kid yourselves those that argue for gun control are often subversives who work for the ruling oligarchs so no matter what argument you make they will challenge it with some foolishness. Let them give up their guns. Not me. Sadly I don’t have enough for my perspective. Many people do not have a clue as to what is coming in the societal bell curve.

  3. Steg, These 2nd Amendment haters have a meme and they are sticking to it. Great visual w/ the gun control advocate dictators. The guy you’re trying to have a logical discussion w/ is Canadian and has a hard time wrapping his head around his country and the US have virtually the same homicide rate. I think that hard fact set him off. When he responds in multi paragraph polemics it means we struck a nerve.

  4. This man should never have been charged criminally given the totality of the facts mentioned here. I see an acquittal if it goes to trial.

  5. And yeah. Pointing a gun, any real gun, at anyone, particularly a child is impossibly stupid.

    Turley freaks out at a Sherman victory rant buts thinks pointing a gun at a kid is a joke?

    Oh well, as I said: little thinking around here.

  6. Steg

    You need to add a few leaders to your Gun Control Leader chart.

    Add A. Merkle – Contemporary Germany has very strict gun laws.

    Add Australian Prime Minister John Howard – He led the passage of strict gun control laws in Australia.

    You also need to add most of the prime ministers and government leaders of western Europe. They also have strict gun control.

    Otherwise, just LOVE your chart. Who needs to think when you have such scholarly tools available.

  7. Pointing a gun at some human, dog, or other animal or house plant. Wrong. Even if it is a dismantled civil war musket. For an adult to do this to a child or in his presence is a double screw up. This pedophile priest needs to be head examined. The parish needs no guns. When guns are outlawed only priests will bear arms. The right to arm bears is second to none. This dork was not a bear.

  8. Oh for gawds sake. Germany had strict gun laws before Hitler. In 1938 the regulations were loosened:

    Gun regulation of the Third Reich

    The 1938 German Weapons Act, the precursor of the current weapons law, superseded the 1928 law. As under the 1928 law, citizens were required to have a permit to carry a firearm and a separate permit to acquire a firearm. But under the new law:

    Gun restriction laws applied only to handguns, not to long guns or ammunition. The 1938 revisions completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as was the possession of ammunition.”[5]
    The legal age at which guns could be purchased was lowered from 20 to 18.[6]
    Permits were valid for three years, rather than one year.[6]
    The groups of people who were exempt from the acquisition permit requirement expanded. Holders of annual hunting permits, government workers, and NSDAP members were no longer subject to gun ownership restrictions. Prior to the 1938 law, only officials of the central government, the states, and employees of the German Reichsbahn Railways were exempted.[5]
    Manufacture of arms and ammunition continued to require a permit, with the revision that such permits would no longer be issued to Jews or any company part-owned by Jews. Jews were consequently forbidden from the manufacturing or dealing of firearms and ammunition.[5]

    Under both the 1928 and 1938 acts, gun manufacturers and dealers were required to maintain records with information about who purchased guns and the guns’ serial numbers. These records were to be delivered to a police authority for inspection at the end of each year.

    Little that passes for thought around here.

  9. Issac said, “What doesn’t make sense to me is why Americans don’t realize that they have a problem, a problem that will not go away with any amount of regulation, control, restriction, etc. The problem can be addressed. The carnage can be reduced. The statistics can be changed. Look at what is missing and then fill in the blanks. ”

    I do believe I agree with this. I find you do for the most part get what I’m saying. Your post is for the most part, in agreement with what I have said. You acknowledge that crazy people will commit atrocities no matter what the method. Education is important, it is good to be aware of all potential angles for violence. Even then you will be surprised, unknown unknowns, the violent crazy can be very creative.

    Now I never said anything anti-education. I believe the American public has been made to fear and loathe guns, and it is a well rounded education in arms that is needed again for everyone. The answer to the stigma around ‘guns’ is education. I do believe this is what the ‘well-regulated’ part of the second meant. Education in the way your weapon functions, the way your body works with others as a unit, drills, and the most important regulation of all – how to disassemble, clean, and reassemble your weapons.

    Time and time again, we see the people who are ‘afraid’ (more like defiantly non-compliant) of gun control remember the history of communism in the 1900s. Governments have killed more people (their OWN citizens!!) than all USA murder stats since our inception. Which leads me to one of your earlier wishes:

    “I am waiting for one person have the minerals to come out and say, “The cost of unfettered access to guns in the US is the carnage that happens routinely. It is the collateral damage that is acceptable in order for me to interpret the 2nd amendment my way.””

    Again, see the history of gun control in the 1900s. Step 1: Disarm population. Step 2: Boxcars!

    How about a fun and informative graphic?

  10. hskiprob

    “Those Judges over the years that have abrogated the intent of our Constitution through unlawful means have done so under the color of law, a treasonous offence. That’s also what the Constitution and laws of this Country say. It is not my fault that our society has embraced such ill advised decisions and we are paying the price for it today.”

    I don’t know where you are coming from or where you are going with this but my take on your last paragraph is, yes, it is treasonous as the people have next to nothing to say. Only a very small group of extremely well funded people decide these things. It is the oligarchical manner in which we are ruled that conditions and obligates judges and politicians to resist controlling gun ownership through common sense. It is not your fault or my fault but the fault of all of us for allowing special interests and oligarchs get this far. The NRA may be spouting a version of patriotism but how it goes about it is nothing short of treasonous.

    1. I am not that big a fan of the NRA. They have compromised way to much. The intent of our founding fathers was very succinct as to both elements of the 2nd Amendment. We have abandoned the civilian militia in favor of a standing army and the resultant military industrial complex that threatens the very existence of our society.

      Should police officers be able to carry higher powered weapons then the civilian population? Criminals would then have an advantage over both the police and the Citizens.

  11. Steg

    A small town in Oregon recently had a school – and un gun free zone – shooting that killed and seriously wounded a number of people.

    Stick that in your stats.

    Speaking of stats, it would be helpful if it weren’t against the law to compile stats on gun violence. 2nd Amendment nuts prefer that stats are not kept.

    Also stick that in your stats.

  12. Steg

    What doesn’t make sense to me is why Americans don’t realize that they have a problem, a problem that will not go away with any amount of regulation, control, restriction, etc. The problem can be addressed. The carnage can be reduced. The statistics can be changed. Look at what is missing and then fill in the blanks.

    The problem with the US is that it is polarized on almost every issue. Success is not found in the ideological extremes. Yet most Americans see most things through an us or them lens.

    The woman who bonded with her son using guns who then went on to kill her and those kids just might have stopped that from happening if she was obligated to take an educational course composed of elements warning about the dangers found in the proximity of guns to mentally challenged people. The absolute hands off approach or unfettered access could have been a contributing factor.

    Let’s say that he would have obtained the guns or a gasoline bomb and done it anyway. What part of the necessity to be educated in all aspects of gun ownership are some Americans afraid of?

    The guy who recently killed a bunch of people in the church obtained his gun due to the efforts of the NRA to allow loopholes to circumvent background checks. Perhaps he would have done it anyway, somehow, but what part of the necessity to undergo a complete and exhaustive background check are some Americans afraid of?

    This goes on and on and perhaps if all possible regulations, restrictions, and education was in place the death count would not rise or fall. However, that is impossible to know. If it rose one could say that it would have risen higher without the controls. If it stayed the same, one could say the same. If it fell one could cherry pick statistics from Plano, Texas and some other unrelated place and come up with another reason. When people compare such disparate entities such as Detroit and Plano, then you know you’re dealing with a fanatic. The next thing on his list will be that god told Moses that it was OK to kill all these people just so ALL Americans could have unfettered access to guns.

    The point is the US, regardless of what these cherry pickers say, has a real and identifiable sickness concerning guns. Innocent people pay with their lives. Regardless of whether or not controls and education will make a difference, saying they won’t and doing nothing is simply ludicrous.

    One wonders why these people who will fight to the death-take my gun from my cold dead hand-are so afraid of having to be scrutinized to a reasonable degree; or more precisely why they insist on being able to obtain guns secretly through local fairs, swap meets, or from Bubba next door.

    If the right to bear arms is so sacred to some then why not make owning them and important, responsible, and righteous act.

  13. KCFleming…..almost all countries today because of central banking, corrupt courts and advanced central planning are oligarchies. Democracy and democratic republics are a fallacy, as to their performance at doing what is in the best interest of the majority, for many reasons. Google it.

    All governments today in reality work from the top down united by special interests attempting to procure greater benefits at the expense of everyone else. Studies show that the majority has little or no real affect on social policies. Such things as voting is a myth propagated by politicians who represent the special interests trying to get votes; a popularity contest with little or not reality involved. They do not care how they get the votes or who votes, it is who counts the votes that is most important. Once elected, anything a politicians says to get elected is soon forgotten by the factions that elected them, as each go back to work, trying to get their share from the public treasury or central bankers.

    Why do you think most of us are here, our time used in debate and to socialize rather than affecting real change. We know we have little or no real affect on society and if so, it is extremely rare.

    This should not deter everyone from trying, but we are a fascist oligarchy, and any real change will come more likely through systemic performance based on the viability of the nation state to promote a civil society or more truthfully from its inability to provide what is I the best interest of the majority.

    Government appears to have been created by the wealthy to control and has never once provided for what is in the best interest of the majority except for perhaps a very short period of time.

    People by their nature first must secure their own self interests. Thinking that government will do this for you has not been true for the majority. It works out well for the special interests, the bureaucracy and their supporters, hence the conflict between the tax consumers and the tax producers.

    Government sadly creates conflict as we see everyday from our massive court dockets and prosecutors like this.

    This is why I am so much in favor of voluntary associations rather the social policies developed requiring the initiation of government force and coercion.

    We need to change our policy but we cannot agree on what policies need changing. The old adage that everyone wants to cut the budget, but they don’t want it to be theirs. Don’t you know, their special interest “are” in the best interests of the majority. lol.

  14. Issac, the point is the regulations. If we look at the gun controlled paradise of Chicago, Detroit, Camden, we see the gun laws haven’t worked.

    Why doesn’t this make sense to you?

  15. Steg

    Well, you tied Spinelli. If picking ‘gun nut’ USA and comparing it to 3rd world countries like Honduras which is not a democratically run socialist country but a country in a decades long war of insurgency against dictatorships, dictatorships typically supported by the US. Honduras is a corrupt country not unlike almost all the other countries on the list, basket cases.

    When you make an argument it is important to compare like entities, not apples and horse apples. The US ranks so far above its peer nations, not the basket case nations-or of course if you see the US as a basket case nation comparable to Honduras, Botswana, Nigeria, etc then you of course are not an American who has any respect for his country, in gun related crimes, deaths, violence it is a fact.

    Cherry picking a city in the US to compare to a country in Europe which is far more civilized with far less resources is simply more of the same stuff: following Newton Con. arm the teachers, following just about every argument. arm up, more guns are better, etc.

    Your friend’s selective and pathetic organization of irrelevant statistics states one thing, mindless complacency or perhaps vacuous acceptance of collateral damage.

    I am waiting for one person have the minerals to come out and say, “The cost of unfettered access to guns in the US is the carnage that happens routinely. It is the collateral damage that is acceptable in order for me to interpret the 2nd amendment my way.”

    Your response is not only pathetic but like some others of the very few, nonsensical.

    The only thing that the commentator said that is remotely sensical is that ‘maybe it’s the people holding the guns.’ That’s the point; some people should not have access to guns. Those that should have nothing to fear. Those that shouldn’t can only be separated from the herd through controls, regulations, and education. Or we can just let this sort itself out and not think about the elementary school kids.

    1. issacbasonkavich……. What do you think were the thoughts of the Green Mountain Boys in relation to the 2nd Amendment? Both parts.

      If you have not read their story, a recent book about my uncle Moses Robinson of VT. “Moses Robinson and the Founding of Vermont” by Robert A. Mello goes into detail about their ideas and experiences.

      What you believe the 2nd Amendment means is irrelevant, because by law, it is the authors of the Constitution and their intentions which is lawful. If you and others do not like their intent and wish to change it, there are two methods noted in the Constitution to do that. I suggest you try. Good luck.

      Those Judges over the years that have abrogated the intent of our Constitution through unlawful means have done so under the color of law, a treasonous offence. That’s also what the Constitution and laws of this Country say. It is not my fault that our society has embraced such ill advised decisions and we are paying the price for it today.

  16. I don’t see the point in the prosecution. If the “victim” and all the witnesses testify that it was a joke and nobody was harmed, there won’t be a conviction, and it will all end up as a complete waste of taxpayer money. I can’t imagine the residents of Bergen County will appreciate such a nonsensical waste of their government resources.

  17. Isaac, do you ever watch Bill Whittle? He is very sharp, and does his homework. He uses the malleable wikipedia, so you can look at the stats. I looked while watching the video again. It looks like the USA is up to 91st for gun violence.

    If I were a truth seeker running a study, I would want all available information. Not just cherry picking (aha!) 27 convenient countries stats. ALL AVAILABLE STATS. You may find a trend that was previously hidden. Why not make economic position a subcategory?

  18. NDTE

    The rate of death from firearms in the United States is eight times higher than that in its economic counterparts in other parts of the world.

    The overall firearm-related death rate among U.S. children younger than 15 years of age is nearly 12 times higher than among children in 25 other industrialized countries combined.

    The United States has the highest rate of youth homicides and suicides among the 26 wealthiest nations.

    The United States has more guns and gun deaths than any other developed country in the world, researchers found.

    A study by two New York City cardiologists found that the U.S. has 88 guns per 100 people and 10 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people – more than any of the other 27 developed countries they studied.

    The United States is tops — way tops — for gun deaths, with a 2010 rate of 3.2 firearm-related deaths per 100,000 population, according to statistics collected by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Chile was second at 2.2, followed by Turkey and Switzerland, tied for third at 0.8. The rest of the countries fell below 1, if they made the map at all.

    The U.S. rate is more than 20 times the rate of Australia, France, the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland), Israel, South Korea, Japan, Norway, Poland and Slovenia. The U.S. rate firearm-related deaths is closer to 10 or 16 times the rates of countries such as Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain.

    The only truth is that you can cherry pick a statistic that is meaningless. Research the reality Spinelli. That is the only mofo. That you convolute and pervert your position by using irrelevant and immaterial statistics puts you into the cause of the problem side of the equation.

    This has absolutely nothing to do with the 2nd amendment but everything to do with common sense, of which statistically, on this blog, you seem to be sorely lacking.

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