Police: Man who damaged Slavic Baptist Church buildings is now accused of threatening individual with flare gun

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — A neighbor of Newberry Township’s Slavic Baptist Church who police say caused damaged to the church’s annex and chapel in May is now accused of threatening an individual with a flare gun on church property.

This latest incident occurred on August 24, when 46-year-old Paul O’Neill approached the victim as he was spraying weeds. The victim told police after the fact that O’Neill demanded to know what was in the spray before he left and then later returned with what the victim believed to be a pistol.

The victim saw O’Neill walk onto church property a second time and in response, got into his truck and attempted to pull out while calling 911. O’Neill tried to get in the truck’s way, which is when he allegedly pointed a flare gun at the victim, and told him to get off the phone and out of his truck, charging documents say.

The victim was able to drive off the property and away from the danger.

Police say they found the flare gun inside O’Neill’s vehicle that was parked in his driveway. He was then taken into custody and charged with simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and harassment, court documents show.

This isn’t the first August incident O’Neill has been charged in though, as he’s accused of smashing one of the church’s security lights on August 1. Charges include institutional vandalism of a place of worship, intentional desecration of public monument, defiant trespass and criminal mischief, according to court documents.

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