California state wildlife officials hope to seek prosecution of a man armed with a bow and arrow who killed a deer in a residential neighborhood of Monrovia last week.
The killing was caught in part on a home’s surveillance camera system near Alta Vista Avenue and Patrician Way, in the San Gabriel Mountain foothills, shortly before 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, according to the homeowner.
Monrovia police were notified Saturday, after residents Robyn and Chuck realized they had video of the hunter firing the bow, the Pasadena Star-News reported. It’s illegal to hunt within city limits, a Monrovia police sergeant told the newspaper.
The grainy color video shows a man in boots and shorts, carrying a pack, step off a paved roadway into the vegetation. After several minutes, he draws an arrow and apparently fires.
A young buck jumps out of the brush and onto the pavement, bounding away down the street, in front of the camera.
The hunter then walks away, going the opposite direction from the buck’s path.
"This is their habitat," Robyn Tapert told KTLA. "This is a safe place for them. That's what their use to, not poachers coming up and taking their lives."
The alleged hunter, identified by the Star-News at 33-year-old Michael Rodriguez, told the newspaper that he had a proper license and tag to kill the deer and had followed it out of a legal hunting area into the residential neighborhood. He had initially shot the animal in the legal area but didn’t kill it, he said.
“It was such a cheap shot,” Tapert told the Star-News. “It was such a tame and trusting deer.”
He felt he needed to put the animal out of its suffering despite knowing he was in an area where hunting was illegal, Rodriguez said. He said he notified police, and a police sergeant confirmed to the Star-News that police had received a call about the incident on Friday.
On Monday, Capt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told KTLA that case was actively being investigated as a misdemeanor offense. He said he couldn’t confirm much from looking at the video, but said the deer was found dead of an arrow wound.
"We're getting calls from outraged hunters, legitimate hunters, who are outraged by this type of behavior that makes hunting look horrible," said Foy.
Wildlife investigators are hoping to file a case for prosecution by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Foy said.