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Elkton man threatens neighbor with machete

Incident followed ongoing dispute
Posted at 6:06 PM, Aug 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-22 18:08:06-04

ELKTON, Md. — The back-and-forth between two neighbors had been brewing along West Main Street in Elkton when police say 61-year-old John Pugh got out of a vehicle, flipped off a woman who lived next door that was sitting in her car and flashed her the middle finger.

Pugh allegedly entered his apartment and came back out, berating her and kicking her front bumper.

When she got out of the SUV to confront him, Pugh took the dispute to a criminal level.

"During the course of the argument, it escalated when Mr. Pugh retrieved what could be described as a machete,” said Capt. Joseph Zurolo of the Elkton Police Department. “He began to wave the machete---screaming, hollering and threatening the victim's personal being with further bodily harm."

According to charging documents, Pugh said, "I'll kill you" repeatedly adding on a derogatory term, which may better describe a female dog.

The victim retreated to her vehicle and called police who say Pugh didn't refute her account when officers arrived on the scene.

"He freely admitted, in fact, those were the actions that took place and those were his actions, and so subsequently he was placed under arrest," said Zurolo.

Pugh now faces a series of charges including First Degree Assault even though he ultimately backed off from the neighbor and retreated to his home with his weapon.

"You just have to have the ability and opportunity to carry it out at the time you're making that threat,” Zurolo said. “So obviously when he's threatening her, waving the machete around, he had the ability at that immediate time to follow through on that threat so that would be an assault."