When tensions rose at a Birch Mountain Road home Thanksgiving night, rather than call the police the parties involved instead decided to call a local news station, which led to the area of Birch Mountain Road between Blue Ridge Drive and the southern outlet of Dennison Ridge Drive to be shut down for several hours as police tried to determine if one of the residents had barricaded themselves inside the home with a rifle.
According to Cpt. Christopher Davis of the Manchester Police Department, the incident began earlier in the day on Thursday, Nov. 22, when Amanda Macey and another female present at the 536 Birch Mountain Rd. seemed not to be getting along. The unidentified second woman than went out to a bar and brought home a man, according to Davis, which prompted Macey to go upstairs and grab an air rifle and threaten the man to leave.
Davis said that Paul Andrew Bato, who also lives at the residence, interceded and took the air rifle away from Macey, but that Macey again retrieved the rifle several minutes later and again pointed it at the unidentified man; Davis said that Bato again took the rifle away from Macey.
Bato is awaiting trial on a number of charges from two separate drunk driving incidents, including manslaughter charges from a September 1, 2011, incident in which he is alleged to have struck and killed a bicyclist in East Hartford.
Davis said that at some point after Bato again took the air rifle away from Macey someone in the house called NBC Connecticut to report the incident rather than the police department, and that the TV station then called the police to inform them of the situation.
Davis said that because of Bato's past history, and reports that there might be a gun in the house, police decided to shut down that portion of Birch Mountain Road and surround the house, but that nobody ever "barricaded" themselves inside or the incident was never a hostage situation.
"It got blown out of proportion," Davis said.
Macey was the only person arrested at the residence. She was charged with breach of peace, second-degree threatening, second-degree reckless endangerment and carrying a dangerous weapon. Macey was released on a $20,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Manchester Superior Court on the charges Dec. 19.