Harassment by Hunters Documented:
Emotional Stress, Physical Injury, and Property Damage Inflicted Upon Innocent
People by Those Who Hunt, Fish, and Trap
Officer accused of shooting dog, then lying about
February 17, 2005, 11:42 AM EST
CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. -- An off-duty police officer intentionally shot
a dog during a deer hunt and then lied to a grand jury about what happened,
Craig Cummings, 34, an 11-year police veteran, was arraigned Wednesday
on felony charges of perjury, criminal contempt, criminal mischief,
cruelty to animals and shooting within 500 feet of a dwelling.
Cummings was placed on administrative leave last month but has now
been suspended without pay, police said. He pleaded innocent and was
released on his own recognizance.
Cummings was hunting with two others Nov. 30 on property owned by
a friend's family a few miles outside this lake-side city of 11,000
in western New York.
Cummings told authorities, and later a grand jury, that he shot at
two deer running in the woods, then saw an injured dog running toward
a house nearby. But prosecutors said he fired in the direction of the
house and intentionally shot the dog, an American mastiff named Angel
who later died.
If convicted of perjury, the most serious charge, Cummings could get
up to two years and four months to seven years in prison.
The dog's owner, Neil Kovar, said he hoped the case raises public
awareness about the dangers of hunting in areas that are under development.
Information from: Daily Messenger
Copyright © 2005, The Associated Press
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