Pastor accused of aiming musket at boy in church rectory

A pastor at a Catholic Church in Bergen County, New Jersey, who also apparently serves as a police chaplain is accused of aiming a Civil War-style musket at a child and threatening to shoot him, according to the county prosecutor.

Detectives arrested Father Kevin Carter, 54, of St. Margaret of Cortona Roman Catholic Church in Little Ferry on Friday and confiscated the musket, gun powder, ammunition, and accessories for the gun, according to a press release from Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli. Authorities charged him with endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault by pointing a firearm.

According to prosecutors, a parishioner told officials at the Archdiocese of Newark that on Sunday, September 13, Father Carter made an 8-year-old boy -- who was there with his family for Mass -- in the stand against the wall of the rectory, aimed the unloaded but fully functional musket at him, and said he would shoot him. Authorities said that several people standing outside the room witnessed what happened.

The incident happened on the day the Giants played the Cowboys, Molinelli said. Father Carter is a Giants fan, and the boy is a Cowboys fan.

"I don't know whether it ended up to be an actual argument or whether or not the priest was just showing his preference for his team, but our position is there is really no basis to ever point any weapon at an 8-year-old child," Molinelli said.

The archdiocese contacted the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, which launched a probe leading to the arrest.

A judge set bail at $15,000 with 10 percent option. But Father Carter was in custody at Little Ferry Police headquarters Friday evening. It is not clear if he has a lawyer.

Father Carter has been the pastor of St. Margaret since 2013 and helped oversee the church's restoration from Superstorm Sandy damage, according to the bio on the church's website. The bio also says that he is or was a police chaplain for Little Ferry, Moonachie, Jersey City, and more. An article on says that he was sworn in as police chaplain of Little Ferry in January.