Athens man arrested for shooting shotgun at lawnmower


Michael L. Pianti-Saathoff

By Joe Johnson

An intoxicated man was arrested early Wednesday for shooting a shotgun from the porch of his home in a west Athens neighborhood, according to Athens-Clarke County police.

Michael L. Pianti-Saathoff, 53, reportedly told police he was shooting at a lawnmower.

Officers responded to the area of Paris and Waddell streets at about 1 a.m. on a supervisor’s report he heard gunfire in the area, according to police.

As an officer drove onto Waddell Street, he saw Pianti-Saathoff standing in his driveway with a shotgun in his hands, and when the officer ordered him to drop the gun, the man placed it on the ground, police said.

According to police Pianti-Saathoff, who had an odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath, said he was upset at a man who had stolen a pistol from his home and he was shooting at the lawnmower that the man had left on his property.

Neighbors reportedly told earlier that night, Pianti-Saathoff was screaming at people and vehicles for a few hours after police left his residence from another incident.

Witnesses said that Pianti-Saathoff lived there for about four years, and that he makes people in the neighborhood “uncomfortable,” according to police.

Officers on the scene recovered several spent shotgun shells from the suspect’s porch and another from near the lawnmower he was shooting at, police said.

Pianti-Saathoff was charged with reckless conduct and discharging a firearm while intoxicated.

He was being held at the county jail in lieu of bonds totaling $2,000.

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