Two hunters sentenced; one shot at game commission officers
December 29, 2011
Two Pennsylvania men have pleaded guilty to crimes and face
revocation of their hunting licenses. One of them admitted shooting
toward game commission officers.
Terrance E. Weiss Jr. of Madison Township in Lackawanna County on
Dec. 16 pleaded guilty in the Lackawanna Court of Common Pleas to one
count of recklessly endangering another person, terroristic threats, and
hunting under the influence of alcohol stemming from an incident that
occurred during the first day of the 2010 rifle bear season. He was
sentenced to 8-23 months incarceration with credit for time served and
faces revocation of Pennsylvania hunting license privileges.
On the morning of Nov. 20, 2010, Wildlife Conservation Officer Mark
Rutkowski and Deputy Wildlife Conservation Officer Edward Page responded
to reports of a baited area at a property near Hornbeam/Cemetery Road in
Madison Township and entered the rear of the property to investigate.
The two were in a wooded area and approaching a small cabin when they
heard a man shouting obscenities and threatening to shoot them.
Rutkowski reported three shots from a large caliber firearm were
fired in their direction and he and Page scrambled for cover. After
being pinned down for several minutes, the two officers were able to
retreat to safety and call for backup.
A command post was established and a Pennsylvania State Police
helicopter monitored the area. Weiss was located outside the cabin and
taken into custody by Game Commission personnel. He admitted shooting
three shots toward the officers with a 30.06 caliber rifle. The loaded
rifle with one empty casing was found in the cabin along with a large
quantity of alcoholic beverage containers.
Two empty shell casings were also present on the ground below a
window of the cabin that matched the caliber of the firearm. A large
amount of food items on the ground at the rear of the cabin was
consistent with those commonly used to bait bears. Weiss was taken to
Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton for chemical and alcohol testing.
Richard Francis Piercy Jr. of Simpson pleaded guilty on Oct. 16 to
one count of recklessly endangering another person and the unlawful
taking or possession of big game and the use of unlawful devices and
methods. The hearing stemmed from charges resulting from an incident
that occurred on Dec. 3, 2009 in Clinton Township, Wayne County.
A resident witnessed a man shoot a deer from a vehicle after dark and
load it into the bed of his truck. The witness approached the rear of
the vehicle to write down registration information when the driver
suddenly sped away, causing the deer to tumble back onto the roadway.
The man, later identified as Piercy, soon returned to the same location
and loaded the deer back into the truck.
According to Wayne County District Wildlife Conservation Officer
James McCarthy, the witness was standing at the edge of his driveway
when Piercy swerved towards the witness, causing him to jump out of the
way to avoid being hit.
McCarthy processed the scene which included collecting blood evidence
from the roadway. The vehicle was later seized and a search warrant was
secured to obtain blood, hair and tissue evidence. Blood evidence from
the roadway and the vehicle was submitted to the Northeast Wildlife DNA
Laboratory at East Stroudsburg University for forensic testing. DNA from
blood evidence at the scene was matched to that found in the bed of
For the violation of reckless endangering another person, Piercy was
sentenced to pay all costs of prosecution and be placed on probation for
a period of 12 months concurrent to sentences being served in Lackawanna
County. He also was sentenced to pay $650 for game code violations and
faces revocation of his hunting license privileges in Pennsylvania for
up to five years.
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