Lima, OH – The Allen County sheriff was struck by celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve as he sat filming the alarming number of gunshots being fired into the air just after midnight (video below).
Allen County Sheriff Matthew Treglia and Allen County Sheriff’s Major Todd Mohler were sitting in a marked sheriff’s department patrol cruiser at about 12:05 a.m. on Jan. 1, the Lima News reported.
The sheriff and the major were parked adjacent to a Lima police car in the 100-block of South Main Street in downtown Lima, directly across from the Civic Center.
Sheriff Treglia pulled out his cell phone and began filming a video for “PSA purposes” of the ridiculously large number of gunshots that could be heard from his position five minutes into the New Year, CNN reported.
Seconds later, a gunshot ricocheted into the car through the window, the Lima News reported.
“The stray bullet passed through the open driver’s window, inches in front of Major Mohler’s face, then struck Sheriff Treglia’s chest,” the Allen County Sheriff’s Office said in a police report filed on Jan. 2.
The men’s reaction to the incident was captured on the sheriff’s cell phone video.
“What the f--k was that?” Sheriff Treglia asked.
“That was a f--king round, or something,” the Lima officer replied.
“It just hit me, dude,” the sheriff said, sounding surprised.
“Are you okay?” the officer asked.
“Yeah,” the sheriff replied as the video ended.
The sheriff wasn’t wounded but the bullet left a dent in his vest, the Lima News reported.
"My immediate thought was that someone had fired directly at our parked units intentionally, but when I realized I wasn't injured and had a moment to process it, I quickly assumed it was a falling celebratory bullet," Sheriff Treglia told CNN.
The Allen County Sheriff’s Office shared the video of the bizarre and frightening incident on its official Facebook page.
“What goes up, must come back down. Shooting any type of gun into the air is extremely dangerous and illegal. Please, handle any and all firearms safely and responsibly,” read the caption under the video.
Sheriff Treglia told Hometown Stations that people needed to use a backstop of some sort when firing a weapon.
"I think it's awareness," the sheriff said. "I think this is a prime example of it. I think we have to be aware of what's going on. I mean, I was hit with a .223 round. It's clear, it's obvious, and the outcome could have been much different. It could have been a citizen walking down the street. And that would have been very bad."
Watch the incident unfold in the video below: