FENTRESS COUNTY, Tenn. — A Fentress County man was charged on Wednesday after shooting at three people while they were hunting and killing their dogs, according to the Fentress County Sheriff's Department.
Officials said that Hunter Crouch, Savannah Cantrell and a 12-year-old child were hunting in the Manson community on Jan. 30 when their hunting dogs found a hog. While they were hunting, Richard Rader, of Jamestown, began shooting in their direction causing the hunters to take cover, according to records.
"All three subjects were indeed scared beyond words at what had taken place," investigators said.
Crouch told the other two to get down and called Greg Smith, who was up the road. Smith then told them to run away, leaving a shotgun and their dogs tied to a tree, according to reports. After running away, they contacted law enforcement.
Crouch also said he heard a man yelling and cursing at them to come down towards him, and that the man fired the gun at least twice.
Police went to a nearby home to speak with the homeowner, where Rader said that he shot five dogs that were on his property. Investigators later also went to the home later, where they met Rader's father — Allen Rader. While investigators were there, Richard said he shot at the area where he thought the dogs were on the hill, according to records.
Allen led investigators to where the first dog was shot — around 100 yards from the home, according to records. Then he led them to where the other dogs were shot, around 300 yards from the home.
Richard said that he walked to where he heard the hunters and the dogs, shouting at them to come down and fired a shot to give them his location. He said that he untied the four dogs from the tree and was walking them down towards his home when he lost control of the leashes, and the dogs began to run away.
He said that he had to shoot the four dogs as they ran away.
He was arrested on five counts of animal cruelty. He also faces three charges of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, as well as vandalism under $1,000 for damaging tracking collars on the hunting dogs.