When a trio of teenagers mistakenly knocked on the door of a New Jersey home owned by state trooper Kissinger Barreau early on Sunday morning, they had no idea how close they were about to come to death. Not only did the teens, who were looking for a friend who lived next door but accidentally went to the wrong house, find themselves fleeing a fusillade of bullets from the off-duty cop, when they called the police to report the shooting — the teens found themselves under arrest.
In fact, despite barely escaping with their lives from an out-of-control homeowner firing at them with a laser-sighted pistol, the four teens were cuffed and thrown into patrol cars and held for hours until police decided that they weren’t burglars or home invaders.
The incident took place at about 2 a.m. on Sunday in Sparta, New Jersey, when 18-year-old John Marasco and two friends knocked on the door of a home where they thought they would find their friend.
Instead, they heard a man inside the house screaming profanities at them through the door.
Rattled and realizing their mistake, the teens turned tail and headed for their car. But then they noticed something bizarre — a bright, red, floating dot, shining from a laser.
They looked up and saw the man, who they later learned was New Jersey State Trooper Kissinger Barreau, standing on the front stoop of his house — with a gun.
“At this point we’re freaking out, ‘It’s a gun, it’s a gun,’” said one of the other boys, Jesse Barkhorn, to The New York Daily News. “I was like, ‘Dude, get out of here.’”
The teens peeled out just as Barreau fired what has now been reported as three shots. Luckily none of the bullets struck the young men, though one hit a tire on the car.
About a mile down the road, they stopped and called their parents — as well as police to report the frightening incident. It wasn’t long before they heard helicopters and sirens. What they were about to find out was that the cops were not looking for the man who almost killed them for no reason at all other than his own panic. No, they were the target of this manhunt.
To add to their terrifying brush with death, police held them in custody for nine hours.
The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office said that Barreau was under investigation for the shooting incident. Barreau claimed he identified himself as a cop, but the teens say that if he did, they never heard it.
Barreau also told police that he exchanged words through the door with the boys, but the teenagers say that they simply left when they heard the man cursing them.
But whether the trooper identified himself or not shouldn’t make a difference, Marasco’s older brother told a New York TV station.
“It doesn’t matter, you know, if you’re in law enforcement or not,” Andrew Marasco said. “You shouldn’t be able to fire your gun whenever you want.”
Last year in Michigan, a man was found guilty of second-degree murder for shooting and killing a woman who knocked on his door, for reasons that will never be known for sure.
Kissinger Barreau is reportedly still on active duty while the state investigation takes place.
[Image: CBS 2 Screen Grab]