Police in Vermont arrested a man for threatening his girlfriend with a flare gun during an argument inside his home early Monday.

The incident happened at a residence in Rutland, Vermont, between a 34-year-old man and his girlfriend. Police responded to the scene and found the victim hiding in the bathroom.

Christopher G. Ferraro allegedly hit the victim several times before he aimed a flare gun at her head, police said. The victim tried to leave but claimed Ferraro stopped her by pointing the gun at her. No injuries were reported.

Flare guns, which can lead to serious burns, are not designed to function as weapons. There have been many incidents in which the use of a flare gun has led to attempted murder charges.

Ferraro pleaded not guilty in Rutland criminal court on Monday to four felony charges including first-degree aggravated domestic assault with a weapon. If convicted, Ferraro could receive 40 years in jail. He is being held without bail at Marble Valley Correctional Center.

Several police officers responded to a call regarding a domestic disturbance on Monday around 1:45 a.m, according to an affidavit obtained by the Rutland Herald. When police arrived on the scene, a neighbor claimed she received text messages from a woman pleading for help.

The neighbor also told police that she went to Ferraro’s home before officers arrived to try and help the victim, but the suspect chased her away.

Kim McKirryher, a friend of the victim, appeared in court during Ferraro's arraignment on Monday and explained how the incident affected her friend.

"She is a wreck now. I had my husband go pick her up for a little while to bring her to the house and she is a mental and emotional mess," McKirryher said, according to WCAX, a CBS affiliate in Burlington, Vermont. 

McKirryher claimed Ferraro and the victim have a turbulent relationship. Ferraro also received an aggravated domestic assault charge for a fight in February when he confronted the victim with a knife and also wrote "I hate you" in blood on a wall in the victim's apartment. 

"I think her allowing him even near her again is due to fear," McKirryher said. "He has already threatened her in the past of what he would do if anything bad ever happened or if he did any jail time."

Ferraro has a warrant for his arrest for a parole violation because of a burglary conviction he received in New Hampshire.