Yates County Sheriff's deputies arrested Eric J. Hessney, 62, of 67 Cornelia St., Dresden, after he shot a neighbor's dog in the head Sunday, July 15.
According to Sheriff Ron Spike, Mr. Dan Mitchell and another person were walking the dog on a leash on Bogart St. in Dresden when the dog reportedly pulled the leash from his hand and went to and contacted another dog being walked at the time by Linda Merritt, 62, also of Dresden. "The dogs were fighting and Mitchell was attempting to get physical control of his dog when Hessney, a passing motorist, stopped and exited his vehicle and came over and struck the dog with his handgun, and then discharged the firearm at the dog," reports Spike.
Charges were discussed with the District Attorney's Office, which authorized a charge of second-degree reckless endangerment, wherein the discharge of the firearm action created a substantial risk of serious injury to others. "This all stems from the same act, so it is one charge at this time and subject to further review by the DA's office. We are also pursuing Environmental Conservation charges with the Encon Police for discharge of a firearm in close proximity to dwellings. Encon police are proceeding on that," says Spike.
Animal cruelty charges await further review and report from the veterinary clinic where the dog was treated for the bullet wound and a fractured skull. Bullet fragments remain in the dog's head and neck. The Merritt dog was also taken to a veterinary clinic for wounds received in the fight. According to the owners, both dogs are recovering.
The handgun was confiscated by deputies from Hessney as a firearm used in a crime. Spike reports that Hessney has a pistol permit issued in 1977 from Yates County, and County Judge W. Patrick Falvey is notified as standard procedure for a hearing on the pistol permit status given the nature of the charges.
Hessney was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Torrey Court to answer the charge.
Further investigation is pending.