A New Jersey priest pointed a functioning musket at a boy inside the church's rectory and indicated he would fire, law-enforcement authorities said, an incident that might have been spurred by a football rivalry.
The Rev. Kevin Carter, 54, was free Saturday after posting $15,000 bail, a day after Bergen County prosecutors announced he was charged with child endangerment and aggravated assault by pointing a firearm.
Both charges stem from a Sept. 13 incident at St. Margaret of Cortona Roman Catholic Church in Little Ferry, authorities said.
Carter asked an 8-year-old boy who had arrived for a service with his family to step into one of the rectory's rooms and stand against a wall, prosecutors said.
"As he raised his weapon and pointed it at the boy, he said, 'I'm going to shoot you,' " said Bergen County prosecutor John Molinelli, whose office turned up the weapon — a functioning Civil War-style musket — along with gun powder and ammunition.
"The young boy was apparently a fan of a particular football team, the priest was not, so perhaps we have indication it started out as (just talk). … There's no such thing as joking around with a weapon when you're dealing with an 8-year-old kid."
Molinelli said Carter, a Giants fan, and the boy, who roots for the Cowboys, were talking about football shortly before the incident occurred. The two NFL teams were scheduled to play that night.
Several people standing outside the room saw the incident, according to authorities.
A parishioner reported the incident to the Archdiocese of Newark last month. Officials there soon notified the prosecutor's office.