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Police, FAA investigate helicopter gunfire incident

September 20, 2013

Dean Francis Scalera of Biscuit City Road was piloting the craft with passengers firing weapons out of it

CHARLESTOWN—Several Narrow Lane residents reported a low-flying helicopter with individuals armed with high-powered rifles shooting toward the ground at about 3 p.m. Sunday. According to the police report, the passengers in the helicopter were shooting down at a junked vehicle located in the Shoreline Gravel bank at 60 Narrow Lane.

When Sgt. Philip B. Gingerella Sr. and Officer Evan Speck arrived, the area was quiet and the helicopter was on the ground with its engine off. At the gravel bank were a group of nine men who said they were having a get-together that afternoon. About 50 feet from the helicopter, police also found handguns and rifles in the back of a pickup truck, which were legally registered to the men. All parties were checked for concealed weapons and none were found.
A neighbor, whose property backs up on the gravel yard, said he witnessed a dark-colored helicopter in the air behind his house with individuals firing high-powered weapons from it down into the gravel bank. He said he was very upset and was worried for the safety of his family and his neighbors.
The pilot was identified as Dean Francis Scalera of 151 Biscuit City Road in Charlestown. Gingerella asked Scalera if he was “piloting the helicopter with passengers firing weapons out of it” and Scalera said yes, according to the police report.
Gingerella also asked Scalera why he thought it was a good idea to perform this activity “with large neighborhoods on both sides of the gravel bank,” he said he felt he was flying low enough to be safe and that he knew of “other helicopter pilots that have done the same thing.”
“In Rhode Island,” Gingerella asked.
“No, in Texas,” Scalera said.
Gingerella advised Scalera that this is Rhode Island, not Texas and Scalera said he was sorry, according to the police report.

For the rest of this story and more local news, pick up the Sept. 19 edition of the Chariho Times.

Southern Rhode Island Newspapers
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