East Hempfield Township police

An East Hempfield Township man handed a loaded gun to another man and told him to shoot himself, later repeatedly assaulting the man and laughing at him when he was unable to defend himself, according to East Hempfield Township police.

Jared Adam Kieffer, 27, made the threats at a residence in the 1300 block of Bryan Drive throughout the day Saturday, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Kieffer, who was drunk at the time, brought a loaded handgun to the man and told him to shoot himself, adding that he thought the man was “better off dead,” police said. Kieffer had been drinking continuously since the night before, witnesses told investigators.

The gun was left with the man as Kieffer went upstairs to sleep. Kieffer began searching for the gun when he awoke several hours later, pushing the man down and then pinning him on a couch when he was unable to find the weapon.

Kieffer then grabbed the man by his wrists and bent his arms “like a chicken wing,” also threatening to break his elbows, police said.

The man eventually broke free, but Kieffer then cornered him and again pushed him to the floor. Kieffer later pushed the man to the floor a third time when the man returned to sit on the couch.

Multiple witnesses told police the man was defenseless at the time. Kieffer laughed when the man told him he couldn’t defend himself due to a previous surgery and unrelated injuries.

The man left the residence before police arrived, later telling investigators things were getting out of control, according to the affidavit.

Another argument began when Kieffer began picking up a dog by its collar and yanking it back, police said. A witness later told police they believed Kieffer was strangling the dog.

Police were dispatched to the residence just before 6 p.m. after receiving reports that Kieffer was drunkenly fighting people and making threats to get a gun. Witnesses told police they were afraid of what Kieffer would do next.

Kieffer was arrested and charged with terroristic threats, simple assault and harassment.

Court documents did not list an attorney for Kieffer.

Judge Joshua Keller set Kieffer’s bail at $50,000. He was confined to Lancaster County Prison on Saturday, unable to post bail, court records show.

Kieffer will face a preliminary hearing before Judge David Ashworth on Jan. 6.

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