We received the following press release from the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection regarding additional charges that have been filed against Dr. Anthony Piana of New Hartford for a hunting incident which occurred at the end of December, 2011:
The Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) Environmental Conservation Police (EnCon Police) today said that the Superior Court in Bantam has issued an arrest warrant for Anthony Piana, 45, of 69 Brunning Road, New Hartford for additional charges related to the December 26 killing of a white tail deer in New Hartford. The warrant charges Mr. Piana with Illegally Killing a Whitetail Deer, a new count of Failure to Report a Deer Kill within 24 Hours, and the additional charge of Cruelty to Animals.
On December 26, 2011, Piana allegedly killed a white tail deer and a video of his actions was posted on the Internet. EnCon Police officers learned of the video and arrested Piana on December 29, 2011 on charges that he failed to report a deer kill within 24 hours.
Further investigation by EnCon Police officers determined that Piana had allegedly used a .22 caliber rifle to shoot the deer on the video. A .22 caliber rifle is less than the minimum rifle caliber allowed for deer hunting in Connecticut, and consequently, Piana is now being charged with the crime of Illegal Deer Hunting. Because Piana was allegedly hunting illegally when he shot the deer, and since EnCon Police have determined that Piana mistreated the animal, which was still alive for a period of time after being shot, he is also being charged with the crime of Cruelty to Animals. Piana also allegedly killed a second deer on December 26, 2011, which he failed to report within 24 hours as required by law, and as a result, he is now being charged with the crime of Failing to Report a Deer Kill within 24 hours.
DEEP expects to serve the arrest warrant on Mr. Piana in the near future.
“Connecticut’s hunters have a tremendous record of ethical and humane treatment of wildlife – which is exactly the approach to hunting fostered by this agency and taught in our hunter safety courses,” said DEEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Frechette. “This case appears to present a situation at complete odds with that tradition and it deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.”
The charges that Mr. Piana is facing carry the following penalties:
- Illegally killing a whitetail deer – $200 to $500 fine and/or 30 days to 6 months in jail.
- Failure to report a deer kill within 24 hours – Up to $200 fine and/or 60 days in jail.
- Cruelty to animals – Up to a $5,000 fine and/or up to 5 years in jail.
At the time of the original arrest, the deer hide, head, and processed deer meat were seized. The meat was donated to the “Hunt to Feed” charity that provides harvested game to families in need, homeless shelters and soup kitchens.
For additional information about the incident see our January 6 article YouTube Video Of Deer Hunt Lands New Hartford Resident In Court.