Police: Man fired gun during dispute earlier this month in Meriden

Police: Man fired gun during dispute earlier this month in Meriden

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MERIDEN — A city man faces charges after police said he fired a gun during a dispute on Washington Heights earlier this month. 

Johnny Bell, 61, of 2 Washington Heights, was arrested March 18 and charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm and disorderly conduct. 

Police responded to Washington Heights on March 17 around 7:50 p.m. for a report of a man with a gun, according to police reports. Officers arriving heard a loud dispute from several people standing around a home. Officers took cover and saw a man, later identified as Bell, pointing a gun at people outside. A woman approached police and said Bell was arguing with relatives and was intoxicated, the report said. 

Officers got other people out of the area safely and began trying to speak with Bell using a PA system, the report noted. Police noted Bell kept going in and out of the home, then remained inside the home and looked at police through a window. Police attempted to get Bell to exit the home for about four hours, the report noted. 

A woman told police Bell became upset when he couldn’t get a hold of her. When she and other relatives arrived at the home, he was intoxicated and a dispute began, the report said. The argument escalated and the woman said Bell pointed the gun away from the people and fired a round while inside the home, the report noted. The argument spilled outside and the woman called police. 

Police obtained an arrest warrant for Bell and he was taken into custody the next day. He told police the woman and three other people were trying to fight him, so he got his gun. Bell acknowledged knowing he was intoxicated, but took the safety off his gun and fired a round, the report said. 

Bell was arraigned in New Haven Superior Court. The judge set bond at $50,000 and continued the case to April 16.