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Auburn man who pointed gun at cop to prison

Cayuga County District Attorney Jon E. Budelmann announced today that Ralph A. Principio (2/9/82), of Wallace Avenue, will be spending the next five years in state prison. Principio was convicted on November 9, 2011 by a Cayuga County jury of pointing a rifle (a .177 caliber high powered air rifle) at a uniformed member of the Auburn Police Department who had responded to the defendant’s home on December 2, 2010 at 1:30 am in response to a physical domestic violation altercation involving the defendant. The uniformed officer knocked on defendant’s door and repeatedly identified himself as a police officer. The defendant opened the apartment door and had the scope-equipped rifle to his shoulder in the firing position and pointed directly at the officer’s head. The officer tackled the defendant and disarmed him without any shots being fired. The Cayuga County Judge imposed a determinate prison sentence of five (5) years followed by a period of five (5) years Post Release Supervision for the felony conviction of Menacing a Police Officer; an indeterminate prison term of two (2) to four (4) years on the Menacing in the First Degree felony charge, and an indeterminate prison term of two and one-half (2.5) to five (5) years on the felony Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree charge. All of the prison sentences will be served concurrently, or at the same time.Assistant District Attorney Chris Schlecht, who tried the case, stated that, “This defendant has a history of weapons offenses and menacing other people. The fact that he was willing to point a rifle at the uniformed police officer demonstrates the type of threat he poses to police and civilians alike. Thankfully the officers involved in this incident were able to subdue the defendant without any shots being fired or anyone being injured or killed.”Principio, has two previous felony convictions: Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree in Ontario County Court 2003 (2-6 years prison) for possessing a weapon with a prior conviction; and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree in Ontario County Court 2003 (2-6 years prison) for possessing a stolen firearm. He also has two additional misdemeanor level convictions for: Menacing in the Second Degree in 2002 in the City of Geneva Court; and Menacing in the Second Degree in 2000 in the City of Geneva Court.

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