Rural Rochester Man Sentenced For Armed Confrontations
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A rural Rochester man has been sentenced to three years probation for a series of shootings on New Year's Day.
64-year-old Paul Reichel was also fined $500. He earlier admitted to gross misdemeanor harassment charges through a plea agreement that resulted in the dismissal of six counts of second-degree assault.
Reichel was accused of shooting at a pickup truck occupied by three men who had been hunting pheasants on land owned by one of the men near Elgin. According to the criminal complaint, an Olmsted County Deputy later met up with the land owner and he described a harrowing ordeal that occurred after he and the two other hunters left his property.
He told the deputy that he stopped on a road in Farmington Township after the hunters spotted a pheasant in the ditch, but left when a woman came out of a nearby home and yelled at them. He says they were then chased down by a man in a pickup who passed their vehicle and then blocked the road by stopping at an angle. The man stated the driver of the other pickup then we got out and pointed what appeared to be an AR 15 rifle at them. He also reported hearing what sounded like several gunshots when he drove away from the confrontation.
The victim indicated the man with the rifle resumed chasing the hunters and fired his gun at least two more times before the pursuit ended. An investigator from the Sheriff's Office was able to locate Reichel, who claimed the hunters had threatened his wife. He also admitted firing his gun in their direction. The court document alleges that Reichel told detention deputies at the Olmsted County Jail that "they started this, I just made the mistake in not finishing it."