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Meredith man accused of threatening man, son with gun
MEREDITH — A local man has been charged with criminal threatening for pointing an apparently unloaded hunting rifle at a man and his son during what police say was his second road rage incident in a week with the same family.
Richard Azzara, 50, of 2 Dale Road was ordered held on $1,000 cash bail and $25,000 personal recognizance bail on a charge of criminal threatening with a deadly weapon for an incident that occurred Thursday.
At 3:33 p.m., police responded to the area of Meredith Neck Road and Old Hubbard Road after a 911 call from resident Michael Merrill, who claimed that he and his 9-year-old son had been threatened by Azzara during a driving incident.
Merrill and Azzara know each other, police said. Azzara is a self-employed electrician who had worked on one of Merrill’s properties in Meredith. Merrill is currently in civil litigation with one of Azzara’s former employers, police said.
Merrill’s wife, Michelle Merrill, was involved with Azzara in a road-rage incident reported to Meredith police last Monday, police said
Merrill told police he and his son were driving along Meredith Neck Road, following Azzara’s blue GMC pickup truck, when Azzara signaled to turn right. As Merrill turned left to go around the turning truck, Azzara swerved back toward him, and Merrill had to back off because of oncoming traffic, he told police.
After the near-accident Thursday, Azzara and Merrill pulled over, at which point Merrill started yelling at Azzara, saying that Azzara “was not going to intimidate him like he did his wife,” police said in an arrest affidavit.
“At that point, Azzara raised up a rifle and pointed it at Merrill and his 9-year-old son,” and Merrill called 911, Meredith Police Lt. Keith True wrote.
Police found Azzara at his residence.
He admitted there was a roadside altercation and that he did hold up his Marlin .450 rifle and a bullet, and admitted to police that he told Merrill, “don’t make me put a bullet in it,” and “if you have a problem meet me at my house.”
At Azzara’s home, police seized his rifle and 19 bullets “that were with him when the altercation took place,” True wrote in the affidavit.
In arguing for bail, police noted another incident from the July 4 weekend when they were called because two juvenile boys had walked past Azzara’s home with a BB gun, at which point Azzara allegedly told the boys “to get away from his property or he would shoot them.”
Azzara told police he doesn’t recall that incident.
Police also noted Azzara’s criminal record, which includes convictions for possession of a controlled drug and criminal trespass.
Azzara has been ordered to refrain from excessive alcohol use and to not have contact with the Merrill family.
His next court hearing is Oct. 9 and 8:30 a.m.
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