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Cops: Pa. guard shot finger trying to remove ring

Published: Friday, March 15, 2013 1:25 p.m. CDT

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A federal prison guard has been charged with shooting his own finger in a drunken attempt to remove his wedding ring during an argument with his wife at their northwestern Pennsylvania home, police said.

A criminal complaint said Bradford police were called just before 9 p.m. March 2 and were met by Alfredo Malespini III, 31, who told officers he was "trying to get rid of his wedding ring" and decided to "shoot it off." The Bradford Era first reported the shooting on Friday.

The gunshot badly mangled Malespini's finger, but didn't remove the ring, police said.

At the time of the shooting in Bradford, which is near the New York border about 130 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, Malespini was employed as a lieutenant at the Federal Correctional Institution-McKean, a medium security prison a few miles away. Officials there did not immediately respond to a call Friday asking about Malespini's employment status.

Bradford police Lt. Steve Caskey told The Associated Press that he wasn't sure of Malespini's employment status, but "as far as we know, he is still seeking treatment in Erie."

Malespini was taken to UPMC Hamot hospital where he was treated for the gunshot wound and also for mental or emotional issues, Caskey said.

Police have been called to the Malespini residence a "couple times" previously for domestic disputes, but Caskey said he doesn't believe Malespini had ever been charged with a crime before.

On the day of the shooting, Malespini "had been drinking quite heavily throughout the day and he and his wife had been arguing throughout the day about an affair he had had several months ago," Caskey said.

Malespini has been charged with disorderly conduct and was cited for firing a weapon within city limits but also is charged with reckless endangerment, a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison. That's because the bullet Malespini fired could have endangered someone else, Caskey said.

"He was out on his back deck, he was outside...the bullet could have been fired in a direct line with neighbor's houses," Caskey said.

Nobody else was hurt in the shooting, and Malespini was neither armed nor confrontational when police arrived.

"The weapon was still there, but it was not in his possession. It was lying on the kitchen counter," Caskey said. "There were never any threats to any officers."

Online court records don't list an attorney for Malespini, who is scheduled to be arraigned March 26.

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