Kittanning man jailed in shooting incident

| Thursday, March 14, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Kittanning man was placed in Armstrong County Jail on Wednesday after allegedly shooting his roommate in the thigh with a sawed-off shotgun in their home on March 7.

Daniel Patterson, 23, is accused of firing a rubber buckshot at Nathan Bielski, 38, and then lying to police about it.

Another man at the scene, Eric Hawthorne, 50, of Ford City, was not injured nor charged with a crime, but also initially supplied false information to authorities, court records show.

According to the criminal complaint, Kittanning police responded to Patterson's home along Vine Street after a frantic 911 call last Thursday evening. The report doesn't specify who made the call.

The complaint also says:

When police arrived, Patterson said Bielski, who had temporarily been staying with him for about two weeks, shot himself in the leg with Patterson's sawed-off Springfield Model 67 shotgun.

Bielski was found sitting naked and calm on a living room couch with an approximate six-inch “hole” in his right inner thigh.

Hawthorne said he and Bielski had been drinking at the Hot Spot Hotel & Lounge in Kittanning before going to Patterson's residence where they continued drinking. He said, at some point, Bielski went into the bedroom where Patterson was and returned with the gun. Patterson said he didn't see Bielski take the gun from his room and it must have happened when he was in the bathroom.

Bielski told police he then started being “stupid and messing around” with the weapon when it discharged and tore through his leg.

Patterson said he heard the noise from the bedroom and went to the living room to see what happened.

Although Bielski initially refused medical treatment, he was transported to the trauma unit of UPMC in Pittsburgh. Once in the ambulance, he reportedly told police that someone else had shot him but he didn't know who.

The following day, Hawthorne contacted Kittanning Police and admitted that Patterson had shot Bielski and that he lied out of fear of what Patterson might do. Hawthorne said he and Bielski were drinking in the living room when Patterson walked toward Bielski and shot him out of jealousy.

Hawthorne said Patterson and Bielski are involved in an intimate relationship but told police he (Hawthorne) was not involved in a sexual relationship with Bielski though “he can see how Patterson would think that.” Bielski initially denied any such relationship.

On Tuesday, police interviewed Patterson and read him his Miranda rights. They said he eventually admitted to lying in his initial statement and said that he shot Bielski because he was having sex with Hawthorne in his living room and repeatedly knocked on the bedroom door asking for alcohol for several hours until Patterson feared for his safety. Patterson said he loaded the gun with rubber buckshots and confronted the pair with it as he asked them to leave. He said Bielski became irate, threw a computer at him and yelled that he didn't care if Patterson shot him. Patterson then admitted to aiming low and firing at Bielski. He said he believed the rubber buckshot would be non-lethal and would just leave a bruise.

Patterson was arraigned before District Judge James Owen in Kittanning on Wednesday and was placed in Armstrong County Jail on two counts of aggravated assault and charges of recklessly endangering another person and discharging a firearm into an occupied structure. Bail was set at $20,000.

Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

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