Man allegedly fires pellet gun at pedestrians

JERSEY SHORE — From his second-floor apartment window, a naked 50-year-old man allegedly aimed and fired an air pellet rifle at a father and his 1-year-old daughter on Thursday night, striking the man in his left leg, Tiadaghton Valley Regional police said.

Thomas McElheny allegedly fired the shot from 147 S. Main St. as the father and daughter were walking home from the store about 9 p.m., police said.

After being hit, the father “rushed his daughter home in fear for her safety,” Patrolman Joshua Klinger said in affidavit.

McElheny also fired his air rifle at a woman walking by his apartment, Klinger alleged.

When the woman saw the man, later identified as McElheny, in a window allegedly shooting something at her, she approached him and asked if “he was shooting at her,” Klinger said.

McElheny “quickly turned his lights off, shut his window and then covered it,” Klinger said police were told.

The woman said that during her brief encounter with the man, he had a red towel covering the lower part of his body and removed it multiple times, exposing himself, Klinger said.

Two customers at the Jersey Shore Laundromat, across the street from McElheny’s apartment, came forward to report that the laundromat’s window had been struck by pellets at least twice.

Another individual on South Main Street told police that “he heard shots from an upstairs window and saw a man naked,” Klinger said.

When police went to McElheny’s apartment, they knocked on the door and announced themselves, but no one answered, Klinger said.

Borough fire police closed a section of Main Street to traffic and pedestrians for a short period as a precautionary measure.

Police attempted to reach McElheny by telephone, but there was no answer, Klinger said. However, McElheny then called police back, telling them that he “was sleeping and that he wanted to know what was going on,” the officer said.

McElheny was ordered to come out of the apartment building “with his hands up, with nothing in them,” Klinger said. Wearing only boxer shorts, McElheny came out of the building and was taken into custody without incident.

After District Judge Jon Kemp approved a search warrant, officers went through the apartment and recovered a .22-caliber air rifle from a living room closet.

During questioning, McElheny admitted to firing pellets at the laundromat, but denied shooting at any pedestrians, Klinger said.

Following his arraignment before Kemp on charges of aggravated and simple assault, possession of an instrument of crime, indecent exposure, recklessly endangering, propulsion of missiles, criminal mischief and harassment, McElheny was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $35,000 bail.


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