‘I’ve been shot twice’ — Olympic coach charged with trying to kill tenants
UPDATE: Judge orders Michael Barisone to be held without bail. Defense lawyer claims couple made false child abuse claims.
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP (Morris) — An ongoing landlord-tenant dispute took a bloody and nearly fatal turn on Wednesday at a Morris County horse farm, police said.
A famed Olympic equestrian is now charged with trying to kill a woman and her fiancé who lived on his property.
Investigators say Michael Barisone, 54, pumped two bullets into the chest of Lauren Kanarek before aiming his pink-and-black 9mm Luger at her fiancé and firing a shot that missed.
“Michael Barisone shot me,” Kanarek told a 911 dispatcher about 2:13 p.m. “I’ve been shot twice.”
In court documents obtained by New Jersey 101.5, investigators describe details of the shooting and the dramatic moments afterward. But the complaints and affidavit of probable cause do not explain why Barisone tried to kills his tenants.
As Barisone was led away in handcuffs, police said he repeated over and over: “I had a good life. I had a good life.”
New Jersey 101.5 did not know Friday whether Barisone had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
The court documents, however, do say that township police had been called several times recently to the property on West Mill Road because of disputes between Barisone and the couple, who lived in a two-story home in the middle of a 53-acre property with horses.
A week before the shooting, Kanarek’s postings on her Facebook page foreshadowed the violence that unfolded at the Barisone Dressage in Long Valley.
When a township police officer arrived on scene Wednesday, he heard a man screaming for help. He then saw Kanarek’s fiancé, Robert Goodwin, lying on top of Barisone on the pavement near the steps to the home.
The officer said he saw a bleeding Kanarek lying on the ground to their left.
The officer said he separated the men and noticed that Barisone had been resting on the handgun, which the cop threw out of reach.
Not knowing what had transpired before he arrived, the officer handcuffed both men and provided first-aid to Kanarek until an ambulance arrived.
Goodwin, who injured his right wrist in the struggle, later told police that he and Kanarek were at home when Barisone arrived.
He told police that he had heard Kanarek speaking to Barisone outside the house and then gunshots rang out. The investigator's report does not explain what the conversation was about.
When he looked out, Goodwin said he saw that his fiancée had been shot and that Barisone was holding a gun that he then pointed at Goodwin, he told police.
The bullet missed and hit a door window.
Goodwin said he went after Barisone in an attempt to disarm and subdue him.
Kanarek was taken to Morristown Medical Center and placed in intensive care. Barisone was taken to the hospital to treat some head and arm injuries, police said.
On Thursday, Morris County prosecutors announced that Barisone had been charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder and two counts of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
Five days before the shooting, Kanarek cryptically wrote on Facebook that she was being “bullied by a 6’3 man. Bullied to the point I’m afraid.”
In a follow-up comment, she added that the situation was “somewhat hilarious- but also possibly, life threatening - so..... I guess I will laugh at the stupidity NOW- so I’m at least in hysterics when I get 'whacked.'”
In another comment on the thread, she indicated that she would be leaving the property, adding that “I’ll settle for nothing. Nothing less than the Justice they deserve for being lying, criminal frauds."
Barisone is well known in the sport of dressage and has worked as a coach since being on the 2008 Olympic Team. In 2012, he appeared on “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central to promote the sport.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.