Man charged with assault in early shooting
Mifflin County police give update on Wednesday incident
LEWISTOWN – A Mifflin County man is facing aggravated assault and other charges related to an early Wednesday morning shooting on Woodland Avenue in Derry Township, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit of probable cause filed at Magisterial District Judge Kent Smith’s office.
Mifflin County Regional Police Department said 32-year-old Randy Lynn Dressler Jr. and 31-year-old Eric McMinn were arguing just after 2 a.m. Wednesday outside Dressler’s Lindy Lane residence when Dressler fired one round from a 9mm rifle that struck McMinn in his right thigh just above the knee.
McMinn was flown to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville for surgery to treat his injury. His condition is not known.
Police spoke to Dressler who claimed McMinn would not leave Dressler’s property and that McMinn had slashed the tires on Dressler’s vehicle and had thrown a beer can at him just before the shooting, according to the affidavit.
In a written statement to police, Dressler also said he threatened to shoot McMinn if McMinn did not leave Dressler’s property. Dressler said McMinn challenged him to follow through with the threat by throwing his hands up and saying “shoot me,” but while he fired a shot, he intended it as a “warning shot” and did not attempt to hit McMinn, according to the affidavit.
According to police, Dressler said the argument was regarding Dressler’s wife and he told police McMinn “stole” her after she had stopped living with Dressler.
According to the affidavit, Dressler’s wife claimed her husband had pushed her several months earlier and McMinn intervened, after which she had confided in McMinn, resulting in the two becoming close, including her staying at McMinn’s residence for a period of time. Dressler’s wife said she and her husband had reconciled a couple weeks prior to the shooting, according to the affidavit.
Dressler’s wife told police she had been arguing with Dressler via text message throughout Tuesday evening into early Wednesday morning regarding a conversation she had with McMinn, according to the affidavit.
Police said Dressler’s wife claimed earlier that evening, she had gotten a ride to a friend’s house in Lewistown Heights where McMinn eventually arrived and the trio was drinking beer. Dressler’s wife told police when she and McMinn went to get in McMinn’s car for him to take her home, McMinn found his tires had been slashed. Dressler’s wife said she asked her husband if he knew anything about it, and she said he “just laughed,” according to police.
According to the affidavit, Dressler’s wife, her friend and McMinn then started walking along the railroad tracks when she sat down to smoke a cigarette. Dressler’s wife said her friend initially remained with her but she urged him to continue on to try and calm McMinn down. The friend texted Dressler’s wife to tell her that McMinn was angry because she appeared to be taking Dressler’s side, at which time she began trying to catch up to the other two, but as she was walking along the tracks, she heard McMinn yelling and then a gunshot, according to the affidavit.
Dressler’s wife told police that both Dressler and McMinn had been in two previous physical altercations with each other and that she had heard each threaten to burn the other’s house down, according to the affidavit.
Dressler has been charged with first-degree felonious aggravated assault, second-degree felonious aggravated assault, two counts of simple assault and one count of recklessly endangering another person.
He is currently incarcerated at the Mifflin County Correctional Facility, unable to post the $500,000 bail set. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. March 10 in Mifflin County Central Court.
No attorney for Dressler is listed in online court records.