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Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010County: Bergen
» James M. Garner
» Garnic Hovannesian
Case Updates: 1 update(s) available
One of the well-known turkeys that roamed the Lincoln Woods in Rutherford was killed after an 18-year-old borough resident shot the bird with a bow and arrow Wednesday, July 21, according to Detective Lt. Patrick Feliciano.
The local police department received a call at 6:08 p.m. on July 21 from an eyewitness who allegedly saw the bird shot near West Pierrepont Avenue and Lincoln School in the borough. Two males were allegedly involved in the incident. The eyewitness was able to record the license plate of the vehicle that left the scene. Officers responded, but the male turkey, which was shot in the throat area, eventually died.
James M. Garner, 18, and Garnic Hovannesian, 18, both of Rutherford, were charged with violating Rutherford's borough code for hunting within the borough limits. Hovannesian, the apparent shooter, was also charged with disorderly conduct.
The bow and arrow were recovered from Garner's residence. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' investigator with the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office and an official with the state Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife responded to investigate whether or not any animal cruelty laws were violated. Their determination has not yet been made.
Tyco Animal Control came to the borough to retrieve the turkey.
Turkeys are "huntable" birds, according to Feliciano, but they are subject to licensing and season restrictions.
Borough code 68-13 states that "no person shall discharge any gun, pistol or other firearm or shoot, use or discharge any gun, beanshooter or slingshot or hunt for game or wild fowl within the borough."
The police called the suspects; they came to the police department and cooperated, according to Feliciano. Garner and Hovannesian were released on summons.
"It's a shame," Feliciano said. "The community had adopted the turkeys and opened their hearts to them."
A drive near the Lincoln Woods now leaves passersby with a view of a single turkey, walking around without her partner.
|More than 200 letters from angry residents led a judge in New Jersey to move the trial for two 18-year-olds accused of killing a wild turkey.|
James Garner and Garnic Hovannesian were issued summonses for hunting in Rutherford. The case is now being moved to Hackensack.
Police say Hovannesian, with Garner by his side, shot the bird in July. Police say many neighborhood residents had adopted the bird as a mascot.
"Yes, I am sorry for what I did, if I could go back in time, I probably would have rethought my decision, our decision," said James Garner, the defendant.
18-year-old James Garner and a friend allegedly shot the bird in a wooded area in Rutherford.
Neighbors loved the waist high beauty they named "Tom" and now regularly leave flowers where he once lived.
"I love wildlife, I never would hurt anything like that, a turkey, was glad to see them around here, it was something new," said John DeLuca, a resident.
Both teens were arrested and given summons for various things, like hunting within borough limits and needlessly killing an animal.
James told Eyewitness News that both boys came up with the idea but his friend actually shot the arrow back in July.
Since then, more than 100 residents have signed a letter, saying what the boys did was an act of violence, not a boyish prank, and are asking the judge to impose the maximum punishment.
James's mother admits killing "Tom" was a stupid, rash thing to do, but feels all of this has gotten out of control.
"We've had people outside of my house with signs, referred to my son as a murderer, say he should be feathered and killed like the turkey," said Joli Garner, James' mother.
Things have gotten so bad; the judge ordered a change of venue, the case to be heard in central municipal court in Hackensack.
James calls all of the outcry ridiculous.
"I'm not much of an animal person, besides the fact that I'm a vegetarian. Not for normal reasons, I have personal moral issues for eating animals but um,"
"What about killing the animal?" Eyewitness News asked.
He had no comment.
The state Fish and Wildlife Division charged Hovannesian with possession of a nocked arrow within 450 feet of a building, killing a wild turkey out of season and hunting without a license. Both were also charged with animal cruelty.
|Source: northjersey.com - Dec 1, 2010|
Update posted on Dec 2, 2010 - 11:13PM
- leadernewspapers.net - Jul 22, 2010
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