There are days when some calls make cops feel like they're on a wild goose chase, but Tuesday New Milford police officers Brian Clancy and Kevin VanSaders really were. They responded to a call from a resident who had spotted a gray goose with an arrow protruding from its leg on the field near Hovnanian and Berkely schools.
"When we arrived at the scene the goose wasn't there," Clancy told Patch. "But with an arrow protruding from its leg, we knew it couldn't have gone far."
Clancy and VanSaders tracked the goose to Pavone baseball field, adjacent to the Hardcastle Pond where a local man,
"With its injured leg, it took about five to ten minutes to capture the goose," Clancy said. Clancy and VanSaders assisted Bergen County Animal Control with the capture.
Upon arrest by New Milford Police, Hall had been charged with three counts of weapons possession, plus one count of possession of a prohibited weapon and disorderly conduct. Police said they found him in possession of a 10-inch knife, a 4-inch switchblade knife in his front pocket and a 4-inch knife in his boot along with two mini crossbows, one being loaded, and 60 six-inch arrows in his duffle bag.
Hall initially told police that he was target shooting by Hardcastle Pond, but during questioning changed his story and told police that he used the weapons for protection, Police Chief Frank Papapietro told Patch. Although a search of the area on Sunday found no injured or deceased animals, Tuesday's incident may present Hall with additional charges since Canadian geese are birds protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Act of 1918.
The goose was transported to an animal hospital where officials said the arrow was successfully removed from its leg.
"The goose is doing fine," said one of the volunteers who answered the phone at the Bergen County Animal Shelter in Teterboro. "It will stay at the hospital for a little while and then come here for rehab."
Papapietro said, "The real concern, aside from animal cruelty, is the issue of firing a dangerous weapon in a highly populated area."
"Even though the area is in a park-like setting, anyone sitting on one of the benches or in the gazebo could have been sitting in harm's way."
Papapietro also said that the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office Animal Cruelty Task Force has been notified.
Hall was released on $20,000 bail, but Papapietro said that further charges may be forthcoming.