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Armed standoff ends peacefully

by KEITH KINNAIRD
Hagadone News Network | June 19, 2010 9:00 PM

SANDPOINT - A Vay man who attracted national attention for a sign which advocated the hanging of President Barack Obama last year was arrested Tuesday for pulling a handgun on a neighbor during a dispute.

Kenneth Lee Germana is charged with aggravated assault. Judge Barbara Buchanan set Germana's bail at $5,000 on Wednesday, according to court documents.

Buchanan ordered Germana to have no contact with the neighbor or the man's brother and father. Buchanan declined to appoint a public defender because he did not qualify financially for a taxpayer-funded defense, court records indicate.

The alleged victim told a Bonner County Sheriff's deputy Germana passed by their home on a 6-by-6 tractor and shouted an obscenity at them, the arrest report said. The man went outside to confront Germana, who pulled a .380-caliber pistol.

Germana, 67, said he pulled the handgun in self-defense when he saw the man rushing toward him, the report said.

The alleged victim said he retrieved a .45-caliber pistol after Germana brandished his gun and ordered Germana to leave, the deputy's report said.

The dispute ended without bloodshed.

Germana told the deputy there is a long history of problems between the families, but did not elaborate further.

Germana was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service when he erected a sign in his yard suggesting a "free public hanging" of Obama, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former presidential nominee John Kerry and civil rights activist Al Sharpton. The sign was accompanied by a noose at one point.

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