Wisconsin veteran charged with firing rifle after fireworks spark PTSD

Gregory Habersat of Waukesha, WI

A Wisconsin veteran of the war in Afghanistan has been charged after a fireworks display prompted him to fire his rifle into the air, allegedly aggravating his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

According to Waukesha Now, 30-year-old combat veteran Gregory Habersat of Waukesha was arrested on June 24th after loading six shots into the air with a .30-06 rifle after a fireworks barrage had spooked him outside of his apartment, where police later found him lying under his truck.

Habersat told police that “everything went downhill” after the barrage had startled him and that he was “freaking out” like he was back in Afghanistan, according to police documents, which also said he suffers from PTSD and was drinking the night of the incident.

A woman who claims she is Habersat’s girlfriend said that he became very upset when the fireworks started getting agitated once the fireworks began.

Habersat -who later claimed he “had a good buzz going” when the fireworks began- then smashed a beer bottle on the ground before going into his apartment and coming back out with a rifle. While he was loading it, he told his girlfriend to “get the cops because he was freaking out.”

Habersat’s wife, Barbara reportedly called police to report the incident.

When arrested, Habersat -who was twice over the legal standard of intoxication in Wisconsin- told police that he grabbed his rifle, sat near his truck and fired his rifle into the air.

Online court records show that Habersat made his initial court appearance the same day he was taken into custody, pleading not guilty to all charges.

Habersat was released on $5,000 bond Tuesday on the condition that he maintain absolute sobriety and not be in possession of any firearms, knives or other weapons.

Habersat’s next hearing is scheduled for July 13, where he may face up to two years in jail and $30,000 in fines if convicted on all misdemeanor charges of possession of a firearm while intoxicated, pointing a firearm at a person and discharging a firearm within 100 yards of a building.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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