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City man accused of firing gun at woman

Riddle-Hatcher faces assault, attempted homicide charges

An Altoona man is in jail after police say he fired a shotgun at a woman as she drove away from their Third Street home.

Christopher D. Riddle-Hatcher, 34, allegedly fired a 20-gauge round from a Mossberg 500 C pump-action shotgun, hitting the B-pillar of the woman’s vehicle, halfway up the driver’s side door and just behind the door handle, as she tried to flee their residence on the 1500 block of Third Street, according to Altoona police.

A spent 20-gauge shotgun shell was found in the corner of the yard where it meets Walnut Avenue Alley, and paint chips consistent with the color of the woman’s vehicle were on the ground near the shell, police noted. Some of the chipped paint also had holes like those found in her vehicle.

Police said the shotgun was fired from a close distance to the vehicle, which the woman had jumped into and drove after running from their home wearing only socks.

A loaded shell was found near their home as well.

The woman told police the two were arguing about her ex-boyfriend. At one point, Riddle-Hatcher picked up a shotgun, pointed it straight in the air and told her she had to choose between the ex-boyfriend and him.

Riddle-Hatcher tried to get her to drive him to her ex-boyfriend’s home, but the woman refused, and when he set down the shotgun to light a cigarette, she fled the house, police said.

As she ran from the house, Riddle-Hatcher tried to grab her, but only ripped off her necklace and some of her hair.

The woman was at a nearby convenience store when officers responded, and officers arriving at the Third Street home encountered Riddle-Hatcher walking out the door with the shotgun in hand, according to police.

Riddle-Hatcher put the gun down when ordered to do so by police, and he initially denied firing it or even hearing a gunshot. He said he had only picked up the shotgun to take inside the home.

Ultimately, Riddle-Hatcher allegedly admitted to firing the shotgun but denied chambering a second shell, which police said was impossible because they found an empty shell. The shotgun had four shells loaded in it when police recovered it, and there was blood on the forend as well as blood on Riddle-Hatcher’s hands.

Riddle-Hatcher said he was about 10 feet from the vehicle when he fired the shotgun, police said.

When police searched the house, officers also located “a significant amount of long hair” that matched the color of the woman’s hair along with a red string necklace she described as wearing.

Riddle-Hatcher was booked on felony and misdemeanor charges that include attempted homicide and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Bail was set by Magisterial District Judge Daniel DeAntonio at $750,000 cash bail on Monday morning. A preliminary hearing at Central Court is slated for Sept. 30.

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