Wednesday, April 28, 1999

Lawyer denies shotgun threat on golf course




BY SHEILA McLAUGHLIN
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — A retired prominent Cincinnati lawyer faces menacing charges for allegedly threatening golfers with a shotgun last month at the Golf Center at Kings Island.

        Mason police Tuesday filed two counts of aggravated menacing against Bernard Gilday, a former assistant U.S. attorney, criminal defense lawyer and teacher.

        He came out of retirement last year to serve as an assistant special prosecutor in a grand jury investigation into the theft of voice mail at Chiquita Brands International by Michael Gallagher, a former Cincinnati Enquirer reporter.

        Mr. Gilday, 76, calls it a case of mistaken identity.

        “I can't think it's anything else. I don't have a shotgun. I'm sure I'm not dumb enough to go out there with a shotgun even if I had a shotgun,” he said Tuesday. “It absolutely does not make any sense to me.”

        Mason police were called to the golf course March 27 after two Lebanon men complained an elderly man, who appeared to be intoxicated, leveled a shotgun at them on the eighth hole. He accused them of pelting his house with golf balls.

        According to police, golfers Martin Kearin and Duane Turner told officers the man — gray-haired and in his 60s, 180 pounds, 6-feet-2 and dressed in red sweat pants — complained he was tired of people hitting his house.

        “The male then said, "If you think I am joking, I am not,' and pointed the gun at Turner and Kearin,” the police report said.

        The investigation focused on Mr. Gilday when Mason's director of golf, Peter Ryan, told officers Mr. Gilday had complained frequently about his windows being broken by golfers, the report said.

        Messrs. Ryan, Turner and Kearin could not be reached.

        Mr. Gilday, who lives in The Greenery condominiums, said he has complained about golf balls hitting his house. But he denies involvement in the March 27 incident. Mr. Gilday said he was not home at the time.

        Mr. Gilday will likely appear for arraignment in two weeks, police say.

       



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