By Rob Hayes
ARCADIA, California (KABC) — An Arcadia nurse is behind bars, being held without bail after allegedly firing several gunshots into the apartments surrounding hers earlier this week.
Kathryn Pugh, 39, was arrested Monday for illegally discharging a firearm at an inhabited dwelling in the 600 block of Sunset Boulevard in Arcadia. Investigators say there was an ongoing dispute between the neighbor in the apartment below Pugh’s.
“We found an intoxicated female in possession of two guns. We discovered she shot two rounds through a downstairs apartment unit,” said Arcadia police Sgt. Ryan Mulhall, referring to Pugh. “We found a bottle of tequila inside her house, and she was exhibiting signs and symptoms of being drunk.”
The neighbor below Pugh, Pin Hsin Lin, reported the shots after two bullets came through her ceiling, narrowly missing her.
“Suddenly, there’s a straight bullet,” she told Eyewitness News. “When I saw the hole, I was like, ‘This is a real gunshot!’ So I called police immediately.”
Lin has been teaching pianos from her apartment for nearly three years, but says when Pugh moved in last year, Pugh started complaining about the noise. It all came to a point on Monday when Lin was getting ready for her next lesson.
Lin initially heard a loud bang around noon as she was fixing lunch in her kitchen. She assumed Pugh had slammed a door. About an hour later she heard two more loud bangs, which she wrote off as more angry noise from Pugh.
But after the fourth shot came through her ceiling and struck a lamp on her piano, Lin said she realized the sounds were all gunshots.
When Lin later checked her kitchen she found another bullet hole in a cabinet. The bullet had been stopped by a rice cooker on a shelf.
“The rice cooker was just right below the bullet hole,” said Lin.
Two more shots from Pugh’s apartment left holes in Pugh’s window and wall. Police say those rounds struck two other inhabited apartments, but caused no injuries.
Bail for Pugh was initially set at $250,000 and then raised to $500,000, but Judge Terry Lee Smerling deemed Pugh to be a danger to the community and ordered her to be held without bail.
“To us, that’s absolutely tragic,” said Karla Sarabia, the public defender assigned as Pugh’s attorney.
Sarabia described Pugh as a registered nurse at Huntington Hospital who won a nursing award in 2019. However, a spokeswoman for the hospital told ABC7 that Pugh has not been employed there since December 2020.
Pugh has no criminal record, yet could be held behind bars for a long stretch, Sarabia said.
“Conceivably until she goes to trial, so that could take months and in a serious case like this, maybe even longer,” Sarabia explained. “She’s going to lose her job, she’s going to lose her apartment, she’s going to lose her livelihood.”
Eyewitness News reached out to Smerling, but he declined to comment.
Pugh’s mother Marie Pugh says her daughter does not belong behind bars.
“She has no priors, she’s a responsible person, she went to Berkeley, she got a scholarship, she got a 4.0 (grade point average),” said Marie. “She is one of the best people ever put on this Earth.”
But Lin does not like the idea of Pugh returning to the apartment above her.
“I am afraid that she will (seek) revenge.”
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