A Union County man fired at least six shots into an empty minivan to scare away a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses who was aiding his wife’s transition from the Mennonite religion, according to arrest papers filed by state police.
Ivan S. Nolt, 58, fired the shots from a .22-caliber rifle while his wife, son and three visitors stood within 15 to 20 feet from the damaged 2016 Kia Sedona minivan, arrest papers state.
The incident occurred at about 10:50 a.m. Tuesday at Nolt’s home along Dice Road in Limestone Township, south of Mifflinburg. The five witnesses were in conversation when Nolt unknowingly came to the door and fired the rifle, according to arrest papers.
“The defendant explained that immediately after shooting he regretted his actions and advised that he was wrong,” Trooper Brian Watkins, state police at Milton, wrote in the court documents.
Nolt told police he grew frustrated when he learned the Jehovah’s Witness family would visit. He called friends for advice but no one answered, arrest papers state.
Nolt said he remembered firing three shots and hoped to scare away the visitors and keep them away from his wife, police said.
Police counted six bullet holes in the vehicle and the van’s owner noted to police that a vehicle window was blown out, according to arrest papers.
Police said the Jehovah’s Witnesses were friends with Nolt’s wife and had been to the Nolt’s home on several occasions, arrest papers state. The family fled after the shooting ceased and reported the incident to Mifflinburg Police, which contacted state police.
Magisterial District Judge Lori Hackenberg, Middleburg, arraigned Nolt on Tuesday on the following charges filed by Watkins: criminal mischief, a felony, and three misdemeanor counts each of terroristic threats, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.
Nolt posted $5,000 cash bail and was released.
The charges were filed at the office of Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Mensch, Mifflinburg.