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Attorney facing firearm charges

Woman says she had cell phone, not a gun, in alley by restaurant

By Ben Orcutt -- borcutt@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- A town resident and prominent Washington attorney faces five counts of brandishing a firearm.

F. Patricia Callahan, 64, of 222 S. Royal Ave., is charged with five separate counts of pointing or brandishing a firearm on Aug. 21. Callahan is scheduled to appear in Warren County General District Court at 10 a.m. on Sept. 15.

A class I misdemeanor, brandishing a firearm carries a maximum punishment of 12 months in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.

In a complaint on file in General District Court, Front Royal police officer Joshua A. Tanner says that he responded to the area of J's Gourmet Restaurant on Aug. 21 "for a report of a female pointing a gun at several subjects."

Tanner says he took statements from "alleged victims" Dustin Horn, William L. Moore III, Charles Talbott, Sherry Moore and David Asa Pitkin.

"All statements advised the same information," Tanner says, "that Patricia Callahan walked by the garage with a black handgun, then walked into the parking lot of J's Gourmet and pointed the weapon towards the garage."

Lt. R. Clint Keller, head of the patrol division for the Front Royal Police Department, said Tuesday that the call to respond to the incident was received Aug. 21 at 8:25 p.m.

"The charges are outrageous," said Callahan, who is the founder of the American Association of Small Property Owners and a licensed attorney in the nation's capital.

Callahan said she was working at her home on Friday evening when she "heard a lot of noise."

She said she walked through the alley behind J's Gourmet and walked past two men with tattoos.

"I felt really threatened by them and I got back to my place, that's when I called the police," Callahan said. "By the time I got back to there, the [group] had increased to about six."

She said she took her cell phone, which is black, with her.

"I did not have words with them or exchange anything, just observed," Callahan said. "I don't have a firearm. I had a cell phone. I don't own a firearm. I don't have access to a firearm. I don't use a firearm."

The charges against her are false, Callahan said.

Callahan said police searched her property and did not find a gun. Callahan left a telephone message at The Northern Virginia Daily's Front Royal office after hours on Aug. 21 with regard to the incident and her civil rights being violated.

"I am not guilty of the charges," Callahan reiterated. "The charges are outrageous. They were a vendetta against me by these people in the garages because I have complained about their unauthorized activities."

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Obviously, Ms. Callahan did not have a firearm, and obviously, there is more to this story than what was presented. However, the law in Virginia states that in a case of brandishing, you do not have to actually use a firearm. If the other party believes with reasonable certainty that you are threatening or pointing a weapon at them, then you can be arrested. The Courts will have to sort this one out.


Why is it obvious that she did not have a firearm?? Because she said so? I hope you are involved in the criminal justice system. Five individuals were THREATENED, including an infant. Why? Because these individuals were working in the garage--the building that they rent--down the alleyway from Ms. Callahan's residence, where she had no business going to.

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