Police: Newtown man arrested after assaulting parents

Photo of Kendra Baker
James Handley MacDonald

James Handley MacDonald

Contributed photo / Newtown Police Department

NEWTOWN — A 24-year-old Newtown man was arrested over the weekend after police said he assaulted his parents and caused havoc in their home.

James Handley MacDonald was arrested after police responded to a report of a domestic assault in progress at a Castle Meadow Road residence early Saturday.

Lt. Aaron Bahamonde said MacDonald lived in the home with his parents.

After finding MacDonald crouched near a fence in the backyard and taking him into custody, officers determined he had “become involved in a physical altercation with his parents,” according to police.

The victims told officers MacDonald “flew into a rage for some unknown reason and began to damage the house, including lighting a pillowcase on fire,” according to police.

They said he also pointed a .22-caliber air rifle at one of them and pulled the trigger. When it failed to fire, they said, he struck one of them in the head with the rifle.

Both victims were treated on scene by Newtown Ambulance personnel, and MacDonald was charged with first-degree arson, reckless endangerment, second-degree threatening, first-degree criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, third-degree assault on an elderly victim.

“Obviously this was a very dangerous situation for the victims and MacDonald faces some very serious charges for his actions,” Bahamonde said. “Police are handling this incident as a domestic violence case and steps have been taken to further protect the victims.”

MacDonald was held over the weekend on $20,000 bond and arraigned Monday in state Superior Court in Danbury. Later Tuesday, police said a judge raised MacDonald’s bond to $100,000. Police said he remains in custody.

The court clerk’s office had no information Tuesday regarding MacDonald’s next court date.