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Md. man charged with taking shots at snowmobile riders

January 29, 2004

MYERSVILLE, Md. - The Frederick County Sheriff's Department arrested a Myersville man in connection with a shooting near his home just before 8:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Deputies charged Ralph A. Willard, 41, of Main Street, with attempted murder, first-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts each of malicious destruction of property and second-degree assault.

Police allege Willard fired a shotgun twice toward a group of snowmobile and ATV riders following a fight between him and the father of one of the riders. Willard allegedly shot once toward Jerry Cline, whom he fought with earlier, and then shot a snowmobile and a "4-wheeler" each once, police allege.

Police said the incident began when Willard stepped in front of one of the vehicles and grabbed the arm of Jessica Cline, 19, while she was riding on Main Street. Soon after, Jerry Cline and Willard fought, police said.

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Willard, who allegedly defied several police commands when officers arrived at the scene, had to be treated at Frederick Memorial Hospital for undisclosed injuries he suffered during the fight, police said.

Willard was being held Wednesday night at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center on $100,000 bond, a detention center spokesman said.

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