Bullet missed child by 5 feet
COUDERSPORT – A Harrison Valley man who was arrested earlier this year for firing a rifle into the ceiling of an apartment building during the course of a domestic altercation has been sentenced in Potter County court.
John Wayne Huggler, age 36, was sentenced to a total of 32 – 66 months in prison with credit for time served on 1 count of Discharge of a Firearm Into Occupied Structure(F3), 1 count of Possession of Firearm Prohibited(F2), and 1 count of Endangering the Welfare of Children by Parent/Guardian(M1).
Huggler was arrested in March of this year after firing a rifle round into an apartment building located along Route 49 in Mills. Police said the bullet traveled through the ceiling of Huggler’s apartment and missed a 3-year-old child in an upper-story apartment by approximately 5 feet.
Police say a domestic altercation began between Huggler and his girlfriend when Huggler returned home from Bear Track’s Tavern in Westfield, PA. The verbal altercation escalated, and Huggler’s girlfriend left the home in order to get cell service and call her mother. She later told police Huggler followed her down the road, grabbing her shirt.
Huggler and his girlfriend then returned to their home, at which point Huggler retrieved a .270 cal rifle and fired a shot into the ceiling in order to “scare” his girlfriend. Huggler’s girlfriend then took the rifle from him and placed it back in their bedroom, at which point Huggler picked up a knife from the kitchen area and threatened to kill himself.
At the time of the incident Huggler told witnesses the bullet was intended for him, saying, “It should have went through my head.”
Huggler later caused a traffic disturbance on Route 49 after walking in front of a lumber truck. The driver of that truck told police he stopped before hitting Huggler, but Huggler continued to waive the driver towards himself. The driver told police he crept forward towards Huggler, at which point Huggler smacked the front of the truck and then fell onto the road.
After arresting Huggler, police took him to the hospital for treatment, as he was unconscious at the time.
In addition to prison time, Huggler was ordered to pay a total of $1,821 in court cost and fines, perform 25 hours of community service, subject to a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation and DNA testing, attend AA and/or NA meetings as directed and to obtain his GED. He was also ordered to have no contact with his victims.
The case was prosecuted by Potter County District Attorney Andy J. Watson. Huggler was represented by Potter County Public Defender Brent Petrosky. Judge Stephen Minor heard the case.