A Dover Township mother and her toddler escaped injury Friday afternoon when a bullet crashed through the sliding-glass door of their home and struck a wall near them -- but it was a close call, police said.
The neighbor accused of firing the shot later fled from officers after being arrested, but was captured and remains in county prison on $100,000 bail, according to Northern York County Regional Police.
Raymond Budzinski, 27, of 3102 Galaxy Drive, is charged with discharging a firearm into an occupied structure, reckless endangerment, being a convicted felon in illegal possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm without a license and escape.
"It was a dangerous situation," Lt. David Lash said. "Luckily no one was hurt and we were able to find the person responsible."
Police said Budzinski walked into the woods near his home about 2:50 p.m. Friday, carrying a Taurus handgun and accompanied by his young daughter and a friend named Ken Wallace.
Budzinski fired at a tree but missed, police said.
Shattered: Erica Fonesca, 33, was folding laundry in the kitchen of her home in the 3100 block of Galaxy Drive when she turned to hang up a shirt and heard a pop, according to charging documents. That's when the glass on her sliding door shattered, police said.
A .45-caliber bullet ripped through the door's screen and glass panels, then lodged into a kitchen wall, police said.
Fonesca's 2-year-old daughter was standing at the door when the bullet came through it and was within inches of being shot, charging documents state.
Fonesca, too, barely avoided being shot, according to charging documents.
"(The bullet) actually had to travel over her head to strike the wall," Lash said.
Men 'panicked'? A neighbor told officers that after hearing the gunfire, she spotted two men and a little girl quickly leaving the area, and that the men appeared to be panicked, documents state.
Other neighbors directed officers to Budzinski's home.
Budzinski told officers he'd been in the wooded area with his daughter and a friend, saying he also heard the noise and thought it was a firecracker, police said.
"Budzinski was obviously nervous and it was apparent he was less than forthcoming with information," and he smelled of alcohol, Detective Mark Baker wrote in the charging documents.
Wallace told the detective Budzinski pulled out a handgun and fired at a tree, but missed, police said.
Chase alleged: Budzinski was arrested and handcuffed and told to sit on his front step until a marked police cruiser arrived to pick him up.
He took off running toward the wooded area but was stopped by another officer, police said.
Officers recovered a Taurus handgun from Budzinski's home and a .45-caliber slug from the kitchen wall of Fonesca's home, police said.
State law prohibits Budzinski from possessing guns because he's a convicted felon, police said. He was found guilty of felony drug crimes in 2004 and found guilty of felony escape in 2005, charging documents state.
It's unclear whether he has retained an attorney.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.