The Ramsey County attorney’s office has dismissed criminal charges against a St. Paul man accused of pointing an assault rifle at his daughter and wife in a dispute over the teenager’s grades in school.
Kirill Bartashevitch had been charged with two counts of terroristic threats, both felonies, in connection with an incident at the family’s home on Englewood Avenue on Jan. 13, 2013. Bartashevitch had purchased an AK-47 out of fear of an impending gun ban and had threatened his daughter with it because she was getting two B’s in school rather than straight A’s, the complaint alleged.
But a trial scheduled to begin Monday didn’t happen.
“There was insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Dennis Gerhardstein, a spokesman for County Attorney John Choi. “In this particular instance, the victims refused to cooperate, thus making it virtually impossible to prove a terroristic threats case.”
Bartashevitch’s attorney, Earl Gray of St. Paul, said publicity of the case was “somewhat erroneous” and hurt the family.
“Mother and daughter didn’t make this complaint,” he said, but instead the mother of the girl’s friend. “From the get-go the family didn’t want to get involved in this.”
The case received national attention because charges were filed in the midst of a buying spree at metro-area gun shops and elsewhere in the nation. That activity came in reaction to President Obama’s proposed gun control measures in the wake of the Sandy Hook school massacre.
Police said then that legal gun purchases wouldn’t threaten public safety but expressed concern over unlocked guns available to people under duress.
Bartashevitch told St. Paul police he had pointed the gun at his wife and daughter but checked beforehand to make sure it was unloaded.
“Any gun owner in America will tell you that’s incredibly irresponsible,” Choi said when charges were filed. “You just don’t point guns at people.”