The Pennsylvania Game Commission has filed charges against two Brookville, PA teenagers.
The two teenage boys filmed a video of them abusing a deer and posted it on social media. In the video, they can both be seen holding down and continually kicking an “immobile” white-tailed deer, according to PA.gov.
One of the teens has been identified as Alexander Brock Smith, 18, and the other has not been named, but it is a 17-year-old juvenile male. Pa.gov reports that they will be facing “two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty and two felony counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated animal cruelty, as well as several other misdemeanor and summary counts.”
The incident took place on Nov. 30, 2019.
The video shot by Smith and the other teen has been seen by thousands of people across the world. It was reported that the Game Commission became aware of the incident almost as soon as the video was posted, when a viewer shared the video to their Facebook page.
They launched an immediate investigation.
The Game Commission interviewed each defendant about the incident, and officials were able to piece together a story. On Nov. 30, Smith was in an enclosed tree stand on a property that Smith’s family owns in Beaver Township, Jefferson County.
The juvenile shot and wounded the buck and missed with follow-up shots. The deer was immobilized, and they filmed the video and shared it via Snapchat.
A recipient of the message saved it and contacted the Game Commission. His phone and the other defendent’s phones were taken for forensic analysis.
PA.gov reports that on Jan. 10, Smith was arraigned on charges from Magisterial District Judge Gregory M. Bazylak. He was released on $50,000 unsecured bail. Paperwork relating to the minor’s charges was also filed where both will be sent to juvenile court.
Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said in a press release that, “hunters care deeply about wildlife,”
“It’s through their decades of dedication to the outdoors that we enjoy healthy and sustainable populations of wild birds and mammals, and that those wildlife species that encounter trouble are identified and afforded additional protection.”
Burhans added, “Hunters are taught at an early age to hunt ethically, to be respectful of the game they hunt, the property upon which they hunt and other hunters.”
The public was frustrated with how long the process took for charges to be filed. The investigation took long because officials had to determine that the incident took place in the state. They also had to collect evidence of this incident occurring and so on.