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
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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