Kessler, son sued over incident with BB gun
POTTSVILLE - Embattled Gilberton police Chief Mark Kessler and his son have been sued by a woman who alleges the boy shot and injured her daughter in March with a BB gun.
In a lawsuit filed Monday in Schuylkill County Court, Jennifer Warnstorff and her daughter, Kiersten Manwiller, both of Frackville, alleged Zachary Kessler shot the girl in the leg at the Frackville Recreational Complex.
"(Manwiller) had to undergo two surgical procedures to remove the BB from her leg," the lawsuit reads.
Warnstorff and Manwiller asked for unspecified monetary damages, plus punitive damages, and demanded a jury trial of the case.
Mark Kessler has been the subject of national controversy over his using vulgar language and firing weapons on his YouTube videos.
Gilberton officials suspended him for firing the weapons, which are borough property. It is in the process of holding hearings on whether to dismiss or otherwise discipline him further for his actions and/or his speaking against borough officials.
In the lawsuit, which is not directly related to the controversy, Warnstorff and Manwiller alleged that on March 16, Zachary Kessler took the BB gun to the complex, where he was with other youngsters.
"While at the (complex), Zachary Kessler began firing the gun in the direction of the minors, including â¦ Kiersten Manwiller. Kiersten Manwiller was struck by one of the BBs negligently fired from Zachary Kessler's gun," according to the lawsuit.
Warnstorff and Manwiller alleged that Zachary Kessler was negligent for shooting the gun where people were, when visibility was poor and without properly aiming it or watching where he fired.
They also alleged Mark Kessler was negligent in providing his son with the gun, allowing him to use it when unsupervised and when other minors were present, and encouraging the negligent and reckless use of firearms.
"Mark Kessler through his actions and conduct permitted and encouraged reckless use of firearms. This conduct can be seen in both YouTube videos and also news reports," the lawsuit reads.
As a result, Manwiller bled profusely, had to be taken to the hospital, and suffered permanent scarring of her leg, according to the lawsuit.
Other consequences include medical expenses, a loss of life's pleasures, and physical and mental pain and suffering, all of which will continue into the future, according to the lawsuit.
"The â¦ conduct by Mark Kessler is outrageous and reckless, warranting punitive damages," the lawsuit reads.