No contact order lifted in menacing case against former New Castle police chief; continuance granted

A no-contact order against former New Castle Police Chief Tony Pagni in his felony-menacing case involving an armed confrontation with a neighbor is being lifted.

Other elements of the protection order, however, including that he not harass or seek retaliation remain in place, Garfield District Judge James Boyd advised during an arraignment hearing on Tuesday.

Pagni’s defense attorney, Nick James, asked that the no -contact order be lifted, noting that Pagni is in treatment for addiction and has remained sober since his late July arrest. Deputy 9th District Attorney Heidi Bauer did not object to the request.

Pagni, 58, is accused of being drunk and carrying an AK-style semi-automatic rifle around his residential neighborhood just outside of New Castle around 9 p.m. on July 29. 

At one point, he allegedly confronted a neighbor on the man’s porch, falsely accused him of killing his wife and proceeded to press the muzzle of the gun into the man’s chest. He later walked away and returned to his house, where New Castle Police officers reportedly talked him into surrendering, which he did peacefully.

He is charged with felony menacing involving a deadly weapon, as well as misdemeanor counts of prohibited use of a weapon while intoxicated and harassment. 

He was dismissed as police chief the week after his arrest. He had held the position since 201 and worked with the department as a police officer for several years prior to that.

He remains free on a personal recognizance bond. He appeared remotely before Judge Boyd on Tuesday via video conferencing. James said Pagni is enrolled in an online outpatient-treatment program.

His next court date was set for Oct. 11.

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