A Pennsylvania state appeals court on Tuesday upheld a man’s misdemeanor conviction for pointing a finger gun at his neighbor during an argument.
Stephen Kirchner, 64, was found guilty of disorderly conduct and ordered to pay a $100 fine plus court costs, WGAL reported. The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that his gun-like gesture “served no legitimate purpose, and recklessly risked provoking a dangerous altercation.”
“We conclude that there was sufficient evidence that Kirchner’s act of mimicking his shooting [his neighbor Josh] Klingseisen created a hazardous condition,” Judge Maria McLaughlin wrote in the Tuesday opinion.
Kirchner had fought the case for more than a year. He argued that his actions were too minimal to be considered criminal and that he had no interest to cause “public alarm” or create “hazardous conditions.”
However, his attorney told The Associated Press they did not plan to appeal after the Tuesday ruling.
According to court documents, Kirchner made the offending gesture on June 7, 2018, while walking past Klingseisen’s house with another neighbor, Elaine Natore. The two men locked eyes across Klingseisen lawn as part of a publicly unknown feud that also involved Natore.
Kirchner testified that Klingseisen flipped him off “with both hands,” so he simply “returned fire,” so to speak. The incident was captured by a surveillance camera that Klingseisen had installed at his home because of the bad blood with his neighbors.