A soldier with the US Army fired off 29 rounds out of his Dyker Heights home on Jan. 7, striking his own car and shooting into the window of a neighboring home after claiming that his wife cheated on him, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.
Sgt. Harold Beard, 28, allegedly fired his assault rifle 29 times out the window of his 82nd Street house between 13th and 14th avenues at 12:28 am, and told a police officer he did it because his wife cheated on him, the criminal complaint claims.
“My wife is cheating on me. I have an AR-15. I shot my car, and I shot it out of the window,” Beard reportedly said.
Two bullets struck Beard’s car and several struck a neighboring home, where they damaged a window and the steps leading up to the door, according to his shocked neighbor.
“I went to the front window to see what was going on… Minutes later, walked out the side and police asked if I’m ok because shots were fired through my window,” he said, saying he was watching TV in the backroom when Beard fired through the glass. “Thank God the bullets didn’t go to my baby’s room.”
No injuries were caused in the shooting, authorities say.
Police found 29 shell casings in the second floor of Beard’s house, where gunshots had shattered all the windows, the report claims. Beard is not authorized to own an assault rifle in New York.
Beard, who’s served in the military for seven years, reportedly took the gun apart and called the police on himself after firing the rounds, a neighbor told the New York Post.
Beard was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon, and possession of pistol ammunition, among other charges. The district attorney requested the Beard be held on $100,000 bail, but Judge Marguerite Dougherty released him into the custody of the army, according to Brooklyn District Attorney spokesman Oren Yaniv.
Beard, an attack helicopter mechanic, was stationed in New York City as an army recruiter, but was suspended from all recruiting duties after his arrest, according to Kelli Bland, a US Army representative. The army did not issue Beard the AR-15, according to Bland, who said recruiters are not issued weapons.
Beard is represented by the Legal Aid Society, which said in a statement: “Mr. Beard is a highly decorated member of the U.S. Army with no prior contact with the criminal justice system … Judge Dougherty was right to release our client – who has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan – to his community at Fort Hamilton instead of remanding him to a cage at Rikers Island.”