by NATHANIEL NELSON
A Utica man was arrested for second-degree assault on Sunday after allegedly firing a semi-automatic assault rifle and attacking a vehicle outside his home at Burt Road and Sandstone, injuring the driver.
According to the Winona County Sheriff’s Office, Justin Lee Hahn, 31, was home alone when a woman, who lives or had once lived at the residence, arrived and attempted to enter but the house was locked. Shortly after, two individuals pulled up in a 2003 Buick and the woman entered their car.
Hahn then allegedly began firing what he called “warning shots” from his second-story building, using what witnesses described as an AK-47-style assault rifle. None of the bullets struck the occupants of the car, or the car itself, according to officials.
From there, Hahn reportedly left the bedroom window and went to the first story, firing a few more shots before approaching the vehicle with a handgun. He allegedly used one of the guns to crack the windshield in two places, and then to shatter the driver’s side window, reportedly resulting in the only injuries of the assault — minor cuts to the driver’s face.
The driver, a 32-year-old Elgin woman, reported that after the window broke, she looked up to see Hahn with a handgun pointed at her. In response, she put the vehicle in reverse and attempted to escape, but crashed the vehicle into a nearby ditch.
The female passenger, who had approached the house first, fled the scene before calling the authorities at 2 a.m., and the other two passengers fled from the car, with the male passenger dragging the injured woman to a nearby field and running to a neighbor’s house to call 911. The male passenger initially told police that the woman had been shot, but Winona County Sheriff Ron Ganrude said she only suffered from a laceration to her head and was treated with a bandage. Hahn then called 911, reporting that an unidentified group attempted to break into his house and he had fired several shots at them. Lewiston Police, St. Charles Police, Lewiston ambulance and a State Patrol helicopter responded to the scene.
Hahn was arrested after being asked to meet with deputies outside the residence.
The incident is still under investigation.