MANHASSET, N.Y. (PIX11) — “Ghosting” is a neighborhood Halloween prank that involves walking up to the front door of a friend’s or neighbor’s home and anonymously leaving candy.
Nassau County police said a 6-year old boy went to a house in Manhasset over the weekend to retrieve candy his older sister mistakenly left there. But when the homeowner — identified as 43-year-old Michael Yifan Wen — opened the door, police said he aimed a gun at the boy’s head and allegedly yelled, “Get the [expletive] off my property.”
Police responded and placed Wen under arrest. While under questioning, Wen later told detectives, “Today I just wanted to scare them,” according to a criminal complaint.
Attorney William Zou reportedly offered an explanation for his client’s armed response and stated Wen has previously been the victim of harassment by people who banged on his door and ran away.
PIX11 News spoke with some Manhasset residents who are not convinced.
“That was crazy!” said Christine, who lives in Manhasset. “I feel terrible. It’s awful, and it’s in my town too? Manhasset? I feel bad for the families involved. There’s no reason to put a gun in a 6-year-old’s face. I feel bad. There’s always two sides to every story – but a 6-year-old.”
Fellow Manhasset resident Steve George added, “This is the life we’re living today? You come out with a gun to a 6-year-old? The question, what would happen if it was your child? How would you feel?”
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said police recovered multiple legally registered guns from Wen’s home, adding that his firearm license is now suspended.
“That’s not normal behavior. Child mischief has been with us since the beginning of time,” said Blakeman.
PIX11 News reached out repeatedly to Wen’s attorney. His office said he was unavailable and in court.
Wen faces two misdemeanor charges of second-degree menacing with a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. He faces a maximum of 364 days behind bars for each charge.