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Martin Novick, Michael Horowitz of Wappingers Falls charged in landlord-tenant spat

From left, landlord Martin Novick, 60, of Wappingers

From left, landlord Martin Novick, 60, of Wappingers Falls, allegedly threatened a tenant, Michael Horowitz, 21, with a knife and then later was followed out of the residence by Horowitz, who is accused of firing a rifle into the ground. Both were arrested. Novick was charged with second-degree menacing. Horowitz was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment. (March 19, 2013) Photo Credit: State Police

A Wappingers Falls landlord and tenant were charged Monday after a heated exchange between the two escalated into the brandishing of weapons, including a rifle, police said.

Martin Novick, 60, and his tenant Michael Horowitz, 21, were charged with misdemeanors in the incident, State Police at Wappinger investigator Matthew Manza said Tuesday.

About 2:15 p.m. Monday, State Police were called to assist Wappingers Falls officers at their home on Franklindale Avenue after a report of a landlord-tenant dispute and gunfire, police said. Investigators determined Novick and Horowitz had argued over Horowitz's alleged dumping of debris in an adjacent wooded area belonging to the village, Manza said.

Horowitz was doing some cleaning up around the property and Novick had told him to be sure to put all the debris in a trash bin on the property because the adjacent, municipally owned wooded area carries fines for dumping, Manza said.

After the argument, Novick went back to his residence, grabbed a steak knife, returned to Horowitz's home and threatened him with the knife, according to Manza. Novick then left, but Horowitz grabbed a .22-caliber rifle he had in his home, followed Novick outside and fired one round into the ground, police said.

Neither man was injured. Neither drugs nor alcohol is believed to have played a role in the dispute, Manza said.

"We interviewed both gentlemen, and both appeared to be of sound mind at the time," he said. "There was nothing that was obvious to us."

The two have had occasional disputes before but "nothing that ever escalated to this level," Manza said.

Novick and Horowitz were arrested and brought to State Police barracks, Manza said. Novick was charged with second-degree menacing; Horowitz was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment. The investigation is continuing and additional charges are possible, Manza said.

Both were given tickets to appear in Wappingers Falls Village Court on March 28. It was not immediately clear if either had an attorney.

A message was left Tuesday at a phone number listed for Novick. Horowitz couldn't be reached.

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