By JONATHAN BANDLER
THE JOURNAL NEWS
October 22, 2007
PATTERSON - Seventeen-year-old Eamonn Hanley was camouflaged,
sitting at the base of a tree in the Cranberry Mountain Wildlife
Management Area, hoping the turkeys he and his dad were hunting
yesterday morning couldn't spot him.
Unfortunately, a third hunter, Manuel Pereira, didn't see him,
either - and birdshot from Pereira's gun missed the pheasant he was
aiming for and struck the Kent teenager in the left arm.
"It burned, it hurt, like someone punched me. It didn't feel like
a bullet," Hanley said later, after he was treated at Danbury
The accidental shooting occurred shortly after 8 a.m. about 120
yards from the Stage Coach Road entrance to the park. Pereira, armed
with a shotgun, and his brother and a nephew, using bows, were
hunting pheasants. Their dog flushed one and Pereira fired.
He missed and then fired again, as the pheasant escaped, said Lt.
Deming Lindsley of the state Department of Environmental
"They were very, very small, not much bigger than the point of a
pen," Lindsley said of the pellets that struck Hanley. "(Pereira)
was shooting at the pheasant and never saw the boy on the other
Bob Hanley said he heard his son scream and saw his son's arm
bleeding when he removed his shirt. The father called 911 and the
Putnam County Sheriff's Office responded.
Once it was determined the shooting was accidental, the
investigation was turned over to the DEC police.
Pereira, 53, of New Milford, Conn., and the others in his party
were licensed to hunt and were using proper equipment, so summonses
were not issued, Lindsley said.
Pereira will face a DEC hearing in a few months to determine
whether the shooting was negligent. If it was, his hunting license
could be revoked for up to 10 years.
The teenager, a sling over his bandaged arm, was back at his Kent
home within a few hours. He is a senior at John F. Kennedy Catholic
High School and plays varsity soccer for the Gaels. He said the
doctor told him to rest the arm for at least a week, so he will miss
his final two games.
The seven pellets will remain in his arm because doctors did not
want to run the risk of damaging muscles by removing them.
The teenager bow-hunted last year for the first time after taking
the required state hunting-safety course. Yesterday was his first
time out this season, and he said getting shot would not keep him
"You go out there, you know there's a risk," Eamonn Hanley said.
His mother, Louise, said she was not too worried about him
She said she knows that her son is generally safe and that he and
her husband take the necessary precautions, like sitting low to the
ground with their backs against a tree.
"Fortunately, it was in his arm and not his chest," she said.