Brett Blackburn charged after shooting man while coyote hunting in … – Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
A property owner was arrested after he shot a man while hunting coyotes. (February 21, 2017)
Victoria E. Freile
A Sweden man has been charged with felony assault after he shot another man while hunting coyotes Monday evening.
Brett Blackburn, 42, and his 14-year-old son were on their property when Blackburn “accidentally shot” Robert Williams, 32, of Bergen, Genesee County, according to Cpl. John Helfer, spokesman for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Blackburn was charged with second-degree assault.
The father and son were hunting for coyotes when they spotted movement in a field north of Covell Road near Lake Road, Helfer said. Blackburn shined a light on the area and thought he saw the eyes of a coyote, Helfer said.
“Blackburn fired his rifle then heard someone yell,” Helfer said. “He assisted (Williams) and his son ran to their residence to call 911.”
The shot was fired at 6:24 p.m. Sunset on Monday was 5:50 p.m.
When emergency responders arrived in the wooded area, Blackburn was rendering first aid to Williams. Williams had been shot in the abdomen and suffered serious injuries, including internal bleeding, Helfer said.
Williams was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital, where he underwent surgery and was listed in guarded condition Tuesday morning.
Helfer said Williams was walking in the area with permission from a landowner. It was not clear if he had accidentally left that property and veered onto the parcel owned by Blackburn.
Spring brings more coyote activity as they work to feed and protect young, increasing chance of human contact. Take precaution, DEC says.
Leo Roth/Staff photographer
Blackburn told deputies that he is a teacher at the Gates Chili Central School District, Helfer said. The district website lists Blackburn as a high school teacher. District Superintendent Kimberle Ward declined to comment on Blackburn’s employment history or status.
“This is a matter unrelated to the district and inquiries regarding the incident should be directed to law enforcement,” she said in an e-mail.
Blackburn was arraigned Monday night in Sweden Town Court and was sent to the Monroe County Jail in lieu of $1,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond. He is scheduled to return to court Friday afternoon.
Sunrise to sunset are the legal hunting hours for most species, although coyotes are among a handful of animals that can be hunted around the clock when they are in season, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Coyotes are currently in season from Oct. 1 to March 26.
At least 32 states allow for hunting of coyotes at night, which is when coyotes are most active. In New York, coyotes are among a list of species that include foxes, raccoons, skunks, bobcats and opossums, that may be hunted at night.