A California man who allegedly pointed a shotgun at a Girl Scout who was going door-to-door selling cookies has pleaded not guilty to assault with a deadly weapon. He is being held on $25,000 bail.
The seven-year-old selling Girl Scout cookies from a wagon that she was pulling around the neighborhood knocked on the man’s door at a condominium complex in Temecula after he did not answer the doorbell.
According to the Riverside County Sheriff, the suspect who was identified as John Dodrill, opened the front door and pointed a weapon at her. The girl’s dad, who was accompanying his daughter, called 911.
A law enforcement spokesman further described what happened: “…Dodrill opened the door while holding a shotgun at his side, then raised it toward the child as her father looked on. He said something to the effect of, ‘You should know better than to knock on my door.’ Dodrill then slammed the door shut…”
In addition to taking the man into custody, police also confiscated several weapons from the home. A Riverside Sheriff’s lieutenant added that “it was unclear why Dodrill had such an extreme reaction,” and that the families never met before.
The Girls Scouts of San Gorgonio, the seven-year-old’s local membership group, released a statement about this incident: “The safety of the girls is of paramount importance to Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio. There is no record of anything like this ever occurring in the past 90 years since Girl Scouts were established in the area. The San Gorgonio Council has established rules for door-to-door and cookie booth selling, and provides mandatory training for all adults and girls.”
A San Gorgonio spokeswoman said that despite this incident, the girl intends to continue with the Girl Scout cookies fundraising effort: “She set very strong goals for herself, and she’s going to meet those goals.”
[image credit: Stephen Cummings]
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