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NY: Hunter arrested after he shoots another hunter

November 26, 2009

Hunter accidentally shoots, saves fellow hunter: cops

LUMBERLAND A Long Island hunter has been arrested after he accidentally shot and seriously wounded another hunter in Sullivan County on Tuesday, police said.

Robert Robar, 52, of Valley Stream, was charged with recklessness endangerment, a felony.

The wounded hunter, Terry Pelton, 50, of Sparrowbush, was stabilized at Bon Secours Hospital in Port Jervis and then flown to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, where he underwent emergency surgery, state police Senior Investigator Mike Orrego said. Pelton remained in critical condition Wednesday.

Robar and Pelton were hunting separately on private land around 10 a.m. in a rocky, forested area off Rio Dam Road in the Town of Lumberland. Robar apparently saw movement in the trees about 350 feet away, and fired a shot from his .30-06 rifle without verifying the target. The bullet hit Pelton in the buttock area and exited through his pelvis, Orrego said.

Pelton was wearing camouflage. He had no orange markings on him.

Robar immediately went to Pelton's aid. He marked his trail out of the woods to a camp about three-quarters of a mile away, and drove an ATV up and put Pelton on it. He got back to the camp and loaded Pelton in a car, driving him to Bon Secours, Orrego said. Robar told police of his whereabouts.

If indicted and convicted of the felony, Robar could face anywhere from probation to seven years in prison. District Attorney Steve Lungen emphasized that while authorities have a reasonably clear picture of events, the case was still under investigation. They had yet to interview Pelton.

"We have to get some medical information on this thing before we decide what to do," Lungen said.

Orrego said the charge stemmed from Robar's "depraved indifference for human life" in firing the shot, but that Robar probably did save Pelton after he shot him.

Robar was arraigned in Lumberland and sent to Sullivan County Jail on $10,000 bail.

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