Former New Castle police chief arrested for menacing assigned to Garfield County District Court judge

New Castle police chief Tony Pagni has been formally dismissed, as his criminal case was set for an arraignment Wednesday.

Pagni, 58, is accused of walking around his residential neighborhood outside New Castle Friday night while carrying a loaded rifle and pointing it at a friend.

Pagni was arrested Friday evening for felony menacing involving a deadly weapon and misdemeanor counts of prohibited use of a weapon while intoxicated and harassment. Pagni was later released on a personal recognizance bond.

He had been on administrative leave from the town, but was formally dismissed Wednesday from his position, effective immediately, town of New Castle officials announced in a news release.

Town Administrator David Reynolds has named Sgt. Chuck Burrows as interim chief and said he “is confident that the department will continue to operate smoothly during the transition period.”

“The town would like to thank our residents for their continued support of the men and women of our Police Department during this transition period,” the release states.

Tony Pagni
Garfield County Detention Center photo

Pagni appeared from a remote location before 9th Judicial District Magistrate Judge John Shamis on Wednesday afternoon. Shamis allowed Pagni to remain free on his personal recognizance bond and also scheduled him to appear for an arraignment before 9th Judicial District Court Chief Judge James Boyd on Aug. 23.

According to a Garfield County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit, Pagni was arrested around 9 p.m. Friday after being accused of pressing the muzzle of a loaded AK-style semi-automatic rifle into a neighbor’s chest on his front porch. Pagni was appointed New Castle police chief in 2014.

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