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Man Who Hosts 'Shooting Party' Arrested for Stray Bullet that Hits Nearby Home

Police say a South Whitehall man hosted a party near Parkland High School where guests were shooting at targets in the back yard with handguns and rifles.

 

South Whitehall Police last week charged township resident Craig Graham Jacobus, 60, after a bullet from a gun allegedly fired during a summer party in his back yard struck a nearby home. 

Court records say that Jacobus was hosting a party on June 30 at his home at 3710 Pheasant Hill Drive with about 40 guests ranging in age from "infant to elderly." Guests were using metal can lids and watermelons as shooting targets, the records say.

Police found a number of rounds of shotgun ammunition, a large number of expended casings from a 9mm handgun and a high-powered rifle at Jacobus' home. Jacobus said he has been hosting this type of party for the last 10 years.

Police filed a charge of recklessly endangering another person against Jacobus on Aug. 13, but he was not arraigned until Oct. 18, according to online court records.

According to police:

Township resident Stanley Reinhold was in his sun room pool at his home at 2840 Suncrest Drive when he heard an unusual sound. Upon closer inspection, Reinhold found pieces of broken wood molding on the sun-room floor and observed damage to the inside of the window facing east.

While on his deck, he noticed a hole in the screen and window frame, concluded it was a bullet hole, then called 911 at 7:20 p.m.

During his emergency call, Reinhold could hear what he described as gunshots in the distance. He described the direction of the shooting as being toward Orefield Road and the rear entrance to Parkland High School.

Within four minutes of the dispatch, an officer arrived at Jacobus' home and found guests engaged in shooting rifles and handguns.

The party continued as they investigated the scene and found a number of rounds of shotgun ammunition, a large number of expended casings from a 9mm handgun and a high-powered rifle.

From where the targets were located, police could see traffic on Orefield Road and the high school athletic fields.

Jacobus and three others who had been shooting were taken to South Whitehall Police headquarters to be interviewed. Court records say the four told police they were "shooting an AR (5.56 mm rifle), an AK (97.62X39 rifle), and a Glock (9mm handgun).

The four said they believed they were shooting in a "safe manner," and police said Jacobus told them he has hosted this type of party for the past 10 years.

Investigators reported the bullet found at Reinhold's home appeared to have been fired from an AK rifle. It was reported to have hit a porch rail, entered though the window frame, angled upward to a wall and then bounced back toward the window before falling to the floor of the sun room.

District Judge Jacob Hammond of South Whitehall, after arraigning Jacobus, released him on $25,000 unsecured bail along with Lehigh Valley Pretrial Supervision.

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