Police: Westerly man shot corncobs at neighbor’s house

Police: Westerly man shot corncobs at neighbor’s house


WESTERLY — A Wompag Road resident was arrested Tuesday night after the police said he fired corncobs at a neighbor’s house with a homemade potato gun.

The man, Jeffrey M. Osella, 50, of 12 Wompag Road, was taken into custody on charges of disorderly conduct and firing in a compact area, the police reported. He was released on bond and is scheduled for arraignment Friday in 4th Division District Court.

Officers were called to a home along Wompag Road around 7 p.m. after a neighbor reported that Osella began shooting corncobs at his house after a yelling match. The police said he used a potato gun, a PVC pipe that propels objects with a light accelerant, such as hair spray, that can be ignited by a grill lighter. Another witness told officers that Osella’s daughter was nearly hit by one of the corncobs while she was walking home.

Interim Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said the two men have had disputes regularly over the course of the past 13 years. Osella’s neighbor recently listed his home for sale, according to a police report, and said he was concerned that Osella’s behavior would cause damage and reduce the value of his property or hinder a sale.

After speaking with the neighbor, police reported that they went to Osella’s home, and that he came to the door shirtless with multiple corn kernels stuck to his chest. Osella denied shooting at the neighbor, but admitted firing the potato gun toward the neighbor’s home, the police said.

He was taken into custody without further incident, police said.


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