DOCUMENT: K-12, Crime

Woman Busted For Pointing Rifle At Clarinetist, 11

Coloradan was angry boy was practicing in yard

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Clarinet Player Threat

SEPTEMBER 12--Incensed that an 11-year-old boy was practicing the clarinet in a neighboring backyard, a Colorado woman allegedly pointed a rifle at the child and yelled, “Fire in the hole!,” police allege.

Cheryl Ann Pifer, 60, was arrested Wednesday afternoon at her Grand Junction home and charged with menacing, child abuse, and prohibited use of a weapon.

The boy told cops that he was “outback doing his homework playing the clarinet” when Pifer came outside and screamed at him to “Get your ass back inside,” according to an arrest affidavit. The child told investigators that he told Pifer “it was his homework and he couldn’t [go] inside because the baby was sleeping.” 

In addition to leveling the 7mm Mauser at the young musician, Pifer (seen at right) allegedly pointed the weapon at other children in the backyard, prompting police to file multiple felony menacing and child abuse counts against her. The boy told deputies that Pifer “yelled ‘Fire in the hole’” while aiming the gun at him and the other children from her front door.  

Deputies located a rifle just inside Pifer’s front door. “The gun was unloaded but had two rounds in the magazine,” according to the affidavit.

Mesa County Sheriff’s Office deputies reported that Pifer, who appeared intoxicated, referred to the young clarinetist as a “nuisance” who “wouldn’t stop so she just wanted him to stop.” When cops first approached Pifer, she said, “Oh, you’re here to arrest me.” Asked by a deputy why she would say that, Pifer replied, “Well, because I pointed a gun case at that little neighbor boy.”

After being booked into the county jail, Pifer was released on a $5000 personal recognizance bond and ordered to appear for a September 19 court appearance. (2 pages)