Thursday, March 22, 2007

Police encounter with hunter leads to payment of bow repairs

From southern Connecticut’s The Advocate

Bryan Roddy, 45, of Norwalk, was hunting in Laura and Bob Feghali's North Stamford back yard Dec. 30 when an officer responding to a neighbor's report of a "man with a gun in a tree" approached and demanded he drop his weapon, according to the police report.

Roddy, a contractor working on the Feghalis' house, had permission to hunt deer on their 1-acre property at 68 Saddle Hill Road, off Rockrimmon Road.

Roddy was reluctant to drop the bow, saying it would be damaged it if fell to the ground, but complied after Officer Glenn Coppola drew his gun, according to the report.

"Only after several stern commands did this male drop his bow and arrows," Coppola wrote in his report.

Roddy said he tried to lower the bow to the ground with a rope but Coppola ordered him to drop it.

"The officer, at gunpoint, made me drop the bow about 30 feet," he said.

Roddy filed a claim against the city for $469.56, the cost of repairing the BowTech compound bow.

"Damage to my $1,100 bow was severe," Roddy wrote in his complaint. "I was scared, unhappy, and angry at how I was treated by an officer that was overreacting to a situation . . ."

Roddy had a hunting license, written permission from the property owner, deer tags and a map of the property but no gun, according to the report.

He was not arrested.

Roddy is an experienced bow hunter who recently returned from a hunting excursion to Antarctica. He said police infringed on his right to hunt and "used extreme force and put me in the most dangerous situation in my life."

Police spokesman Lt. Sean Cooney said the incident report states Coppola's gun was drawn, but it reads as if it was never pointed at Roddy.

Cooney said Roddy threatened the officer. Coppola wrote in his report that Roddy said he could have "picked off" the officer as he approached.

"That's a very odd statement to make, to say, 'I could have easily shot you as you walked up,' " Cooney said. "What a bizarre thing to say. What other way is there to interpret that?"

Roddy denies saying that and contacted the police department's internal affairs division when he read the report.

"He gave a police report that's very contrary to what happened," Roddy said.

Cooney said there was no investigation because Roddy did not pursue it.

"He was asked if he wanted to file a formal complaint and he did not," Cooney said.

Roddy said the city agreed to pay for the bow repairs if he signed an agreement stating he would not sue, which he did.

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3 comments:

buckee said...

Kind of a catch 22 situation for the police these days especially. I agree that the policeman was just doing his job, but it sounds like he needs to learn to use a little more digression, and also lied to cover his butt, ..LOL
Sounds like the neighbour who reported it, doesn't know the difference between a bow and a gun also.

Glad to see no one got hurt, and very good to see the guy got his bow fixed.

buckee said...

I also need to learn to use spellcheck before posting...LOL

Othmar Vohringer said...

I agree with you buckee, I would not like to be a police officer and serve as rubber bungee between politics and the people. Of course there are police officers, among other professions, that think they know it all and can enforce the law as he sees fit, because he/she wears a uniform and a batch.

-Othmar Vohringer-

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