A New York man is accused of pointing a gun at a 6-year-old boy’s head after the child approached his front door to retrieve a bag of Halloween candy that he’d mistakenly delivered there.
Michael Yifan Wen, 43, was arrested Saturday and charged with menacing and endangering the welfare of a child following the incident in Manhasset, according to the Nassau County Police Department on Long Island.
The trouble allegedly started after the boy and his 10-year-old sister dropped the candy off outside Wen’s house that evening and rang the doorbell, believing the home belonged to the sister’s friend, police said.
The children’s mother said she drove the kids away, but they soon realized the address might’ve been wrong and turned back. The boy then went up to Wen’s home to retrieve the candy.
“At this time, the front door opened, a male stepped out of the house and pointed a black handgun at the victim’s head,” police said in a news release.
The boy’s mom told authorities that she started screaming.
“Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!” she recalled shouting, according to court documents obtained by News 12 Long Island. “When this man pointed a gun at the head of my son it put me in fear for the life of my son.”
Wen, according to the documents, said he “just wanted to scare them.”
His attorney told local news outlets that Wen and his family had been on edge after previously hearing banging on the door on multiple occasions, as if someone were trying to break in.
Surveillance video that the attorney shared with the media shows two incidents in which people, described as teenagers, appear to knock on the door and then run away.
Wen on Sunday pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces and was released on bail.
The news follows a number of shootings this year in which a gunman appeared to shoot first and ask questions later.
Back in April, Missouri police said a 16-year-old boy was shot in his head and arm after ringing a man’s doorbell in error. The teen said he was looking for his friend’s house to pick up his brothers when he was allegedly shot by the man, who told police that he thought the boy was trying to break in.
That same month, an 18-year-old cheerleader was shot three times in Texas after her friend mistakenly opened the door to someone else’s car in a parking lot. The friend said that she tried to apologize for her error but that the man started shooting at the women, even as they fled the scene.
Also in April, a 20-year-old woman in a car was fatally shot after the vehicle pulled into the wrong driveway in New York. Police said the car was attempting to turn around when a man exited the house and fired two shots at the vehicle, killing the woman as she sat in the passenger seat.