PITTSBURGH - A local borough councilman has been jailed on charges he fired shots at his neighbor before driving drunk to get away from state police who responded.
Authorities said troopers heard 34-year-old Jeremy Berardinelli yelling that he was going to kill his neighbor, James Woods.
“All I said is, ‘Hey, you’re drunk. I see you made it home.’ The next thing I knew, it was chaos,” Woods said.
Police said Berardinelli, a councilman in Marianna, fired several shots into the air -- none of which hit his neighbor -- and then claimed they were only "warning shots."
Police pulled over Berardinelli moments after he left and said tests show he was too drunk to drive. He was then charged with aggravated assault.
He faces a preliminary hearing July 30.
The council president told Channel 11’s Cara Sapida that Berardinelli is “good at his job and works hard for his community.” He added that these charges won’t change that.
“I think he’s a good councilman. He does a lot and helps out a lot. He does a lot of free work,” Marianna Council President Ken Wright said.
Wright referred to the incident as a neighborhood dispute that escalated.
“I don’t think they like each other, but I didn’t think it was anything like this,” Wright said. “I don’t think this has anything to do with him being on council.”