Teen accused of shooting karate instructor with pellet
By Patrick McArdle
STAFF WRITER | November 23,2012
A local teenager is facing criminal charges after police said he fired a plastic pellet from an air gun through the door of the Vermont Martial Arts Studio and hit an instructor in the leg on Sept. 25.
Bradley S. Leonard, 16, of Rutland, was arraigned in Rutland criminal court on Monday on misdemeanor charges of simple assault and reckless endangerment.
In an affidavit, Officer Kenneth Mosher, of the Rutland Police Department, said he was sent to the Merchants Row karate studio on Sept. 25 around 6 p.m. due to a report that someone had fired an air rifle from a passing car.
Mosher said when he reached the scene, he noted there were about 15 young students, who he described as toddlers and pre-school aged children, practicing in the studio.
According to Mosher, David Orvis, who was 46 at the time, told police he had been hit in the left leg.
An off-duty Vermont State Police trooper turned over a black plastic pellet he found at the scene, Mosher said.
Orvis gave police the license plate number of the car from which the pellet came. The car was tracked to a juvenile, whose name police did not provide, who said he had been in the car with two friends, one of them Leonard.
On Sept. 26, Mosher met with Leonard and his father.
“Both (Leonard) and (the father, Scott Leonard) had repeatedly apologized about the incident and offered concerns for any injuries that were incurred. (They) were relieved to hear that Orvis was not seriously injured by the incident and seemed to be embarrassed by the incident and wanted to do whatever they could do to make it right,” Mosher said.
Leonard told police he had intended to simply fire the air rifle out the window randomly but realized after he did that the pellet had entered the karate studio. He and his friends panicked and fled the area, according to Mosher.
The affidavit said police were not charging the driver because of his age but Mosher said he warned the driver “as he enters adulthood he should understand that he would be held accountable for the actions of the passengers in his vehicle.”
Leonard, who pleaded innocent on Monday, was released without bail.