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Elmhurst man charged with disorderly conduct after air rifle incident

Published: Monday, April 22, 2013 1:37 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:52 a.m. CDT

ELMHURST — An Elmhurst man was charged with disorderly conduct on Sunday after police responded to a call of "machine gun fire" in the 900 block of Fern Avenue.

Joseph A. Zellman, of Elmhurst, was charged with disorderly conduct and cited under the city's air rifle ordinance.

Elmhurst police responded to a call of "shots fired with automatic weapons" at 959 Fern Ave. about 7:31 p.m. Sunday.

A neighbor reported hearing "machine gun fire," and seeing men drinking and shooting at a target in the yard, according to police reports. One of the men also was loading what appeared to be a shotgun, police said.

Elmhurst Police Chief Michael Ruth said all available police units responded and found Joseph A. Kniece of Huntley, John P. Pyznarski of Worth, Zellman and a 14-year-old in the back yard of the home with a black replica .6-mm airsoft AR-15, a .177-caliber Benjamin pellet gun with a scope and a Walther .6-mm airsoft pistol with its originally orange tip painted black.

Police also observed beer bottles at the scene. Two handguns and ammunition were present on a rear table along with two compound bows and metal arrow tips.

There was no evidence that either the handguns or bows had been fired, police said.

Kniece and Pyznarski also were cited under Elmhurst's air rifle ordinance and charged with disorderly conduct, and the teenager was taken home. The men charged were released on bond Sunday night.

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