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Alan Nerbonne (Courtesy of the Meriden Police Department)

Gun fired during bar dispute in Meriden

MERIDEN — A local man on probation in connection with a 2009 homicide was arraigned Monday after police said he fired a gun during a dispute at Ryder’s on Main.

Alan Nerbonne, 26, of 86 Park Ave., 3rd floor, was arrested early Saturday morning on charges including first-degree reckless endangerment, unlawful discharge, criminal possession of a firearm and illegally carrying a dangerous weapon. In court Monday a judge likened the incident to something out of a Quentin Tarantino movie.

Nerbonne was originally charged in 2009 as an accessory to murder in the shooting death of Lawrence Mates, a nightclub bouncer in Waterbury. Police said Nerbonne was angry about being kicked out of the club several times and handed a gun to Andrew West of Meriden who was eventually convicted of shooting Mates in the head and leg. Nerbonne’s charges were reduced to felony hindering prosecution and he was serving three years’ probation at the time of the Ryder’s incident early Saturday.

At around 12:30 a.m., police say three men and three women came into the bar at 467 West Main St. and demanded to be served immediately. A short time later, the bar owner asked one of the men to take his drink off the pool table. The man responded with profanity and also said “get out of my face before I kill you,” the report said.

The bar owner had the bouncer tell the group of men to leave, but they refused, saying he would have to “physically take us out of here,” the report said. The men eventually went out onto a back porch where a witness reported hearing a “loud pop,” according to the report. When the witness turned around he saw a man pointing a revolver in the air and then firing another three shots, the report said. The witness told police he heard a click as if the man was trying to fire the gun again, the report said. The man then pointed the gun at the ground and yelled “I will be back and shoot that (expletive),” the report said.

A Hunter’s Ambulance employee called the police station a few minutes later to report hearing four gunshots, the report said. The ambulance company’s headquarters are across the street from Ryder’s on Main. Police arrived at around 1 a.m. One officer tried to speak with a man walking away from the bar, but the man ran off, with officers running after him. Other officers on scene found a total of four .40 caliber shell casings and a Smith and Wesson semi-automatic handgun which had been reported stolen, the report said.

Officers caught up to the man who fled and brought him back to the bar, where he was identified as Nerbonne and witnesses connected him to the shooting, the report said.

In court Monday the case was transferred to New Haven for Dec. 18. Judge Philip Scarpellino set bail at $750,000.

Nerbonne’s attorney said the police reports involve hearsay and the patrons were drunk at the time.

Scarpellino said the police report reads like Quentin Tarantino’s “Dusk Till Dawn,” and he was afraid that Nerbonne would carry out his threat from the bar. Nerbonne remains in custody.



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