Dispute leads to axe-waving argument

PELHAM – For many people, a snowstorm can be a chore, resulting in shoveling, salting, plowing and irritation, especially if there is a neighborhood disagreement over where the snow belongs.

Police often receive complaints during the winter months, particularly when it comes to plowing disputes, Pelham Police Cpt. Stephen Toom said, but rarely do these disagreements result in physical altercations or arrests.

And yet, that is exactly what happened Wednesday night, when officers responded to a report of “a male subject attacking a motor vehicle with an axe,” on Ballard Road, according to police.

By the time officers arrived, the axe had allegedly been dropped in favor of fists, and the two men, identified as Eric Chojnacki, 57, and Issam Mousa, 54, both of Pelham, were “in a physical altercation,” police said.

Through the investigation, it was determined that as Mousa was plowing his driveway, Chojnacki approached his truck with an axe in hand and allegedly began to strike the driver’s side window “in a threatening manner.”

Mousa exited the truck and confronted Chojnacki, resulting in a verbal argument that quickly turned physical, according to reports.

“Mr. Chojnacki thought Mr. Mousa was plowing snow into his yard,” Toom explained.

Whether or not this was the first argument between the two men is unknown.

Chojnacki was placed under arrest and charged with felony-level criminal threatening with a deadly weapon. He was released on $2,500 personal recognizance bail and is scheduled for arraignment at Hillsborough County Superior Court South Feb. 22.

Mousa also was arrested and charged with simple assault, a Class B misdemeanor. He was released on a summons with an arraignment date of March 5.

Hannah LaClaire can be reached at 594-1243 or hlaclaire@nashuatelegraph.com