Police: Neighbor pulls gun on parent after backyard baseball game

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GREENFIELD, Ind. (May 15, 2015)-- A backyard baseball game turned into a heated fight between neighbors. The fight took a scary turn when one of them pulled out a gun.

The Hancock County Prosecutor's office alleges one of those neighbors pulled that gun on a parent.

"Happened pretty quick. Hard to believe a tennis ball could lead to being 25 feet away from getting killed," said Kevin Townsend, who had the weapon pointed at him.

Townsend said the argument got heated fast. Four of his kids and four neighborhood kids were playing ball in his backyard Wednesday night with a bat, tennis ball and bases. The bases, Townsend said, were spread out on other neighbors' property, as well as his.

Townsend said neighbor John Zemlick came over and was angry, saying the tennis ball hit his house twice. The kids were already inside.

"He went to pick up home plate, and I simply put my foot on it. And I said, hey, I'll pick these bases up," said Townsend.

According to court documents, the altercation quickly became heated.

"John stated that he asked his neighbor to keep his kids and their (expletive) out of his yard," according to a police officer's account in an affidavit of probable cause.

"Mr. Zemlick threatened the neighbor that he was going to put a bullet in his head if he didn't keep his children off his property and soon after that the wife came out with a gun," said Detective Lieutenant Randy Ratliff, with the Greenfield Police Department.

Townsend said Donna Zemlick then came out of the house packing heat.

"Donna stated that at first she had the gun behind her back. Donna then stated that she then told the neighbor that she was the one with the permit and then gun and then raised the gun at him," reads the probable cause affidavit.

"One leg forward, one leg back, both hands out, front full extended and just stared down on me," said Townsend, "I looked and I (saw) the gun and... I broke contact, rolled my shoulder and inched up inside my house."

Townsend said he called the police, who came and arrested Donna Zemlick. Her husband had to be taken to the hospital that night for chest pains.

Both were home when FOX59 stopped by Friday afternoon but did not want to be interviewed about the incident.

Townsend said he can't believe this happened and his kids are now scared to come outside.

"Now it's to the point where my kids don't even want to come out here to play," he said.

The Greenfield Police Department said if you want to confront a neighbor, it's best to call police before getting involved.

"This should've never gotten to the point that it did. The police should've been called long before it got to this point," said Ratliff.

The Hancock County Prosecutor's office said the pointing a firearm charge filed against Donna Zemlick is a felony charge. Charges against John Zemlick are under review. Police said he could face an intimidation charge.

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