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Man charged with wanton endangerment after shots fired at Trick-or-Treat

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By Linda Ireland

 A Hodgenville man was charged with wanton endangerment Monday night after discharging a weapon in a restaurant.

Lincoln Square was crowded with small children, their parents and other community members during the annual Trick-or-Treat on the Square. About 6:30 p.m., Hodgenville City Police received a report of a shot fired inside Laha’s. Witnesses said someone had fired a round into the hot water heater in the restroom of the restaurant.

Officers spent about an hour tracking the suspect, who was eventually located under a couch in a garage at his parents’ house, according to Chief Steve Johnson.

Robert G. Skaggs Jr., 23, of Keith Road, was charged with six counts of wanton endangerment; receiving stolen property; fleeing or evading police; alcohol intoxication; and third-degree criminal mischief.

Johnson said Skaggs appeared to be intoxicated when he entered Laha’s. Officers aren’t sure how the weapon – a .45 caliber Ruger which was later reported stolen – discharged inside the restroom.

One of Skaggs’ friends took him home, Johnson said.

Officers later received a call from someone telling of Skaggs’ whereabouts.

At least six people were inside the store at the time of the incident, Johnson said. 

“They were the store employees,” he said. “Other charges could be filed if others (who were inside the eatery during the incident) come forward.”

“We’re still trying to determine what he was doing on the Square with a weapon,” Johnson said. “He told Sgt. (Marcus) Jackson he was carrying it for protection.”

“It’s a shame he had to bring a gun on the square with all those kids on the Square. He could have hit someone outside or inside the restaurant.”

City police were assisted by Kentucky State Police, the sheriff’s office and LaRue County constables.

Skaggs was lodged in the LaRue County Detention Center.