BROOKVILLE, Pa. (KDKA) - A police chief in Jefferson County has confirmed that his stepson is one of the two teenagers who were recorded torturing an injured deer.
KDKA's Chris Hoffman says Brookville solicitor Jim Dennison was told by Police Chief Vince Markle that his 18-year-old stepson Alex Smith is pictured in the video.
The disturbing video, which has caused public outrage, surfaced over the weekend. The video shows two teens appearing to stomp on and kick an injured deer. They were also laughing and pulling at its antlers.
Dennison spoke to KDKA on behalf of Markle.
"He knew that hat his stepson was involved at that point. He was devastated and extremely angry," Dennison said.
Dennison said Markle didn't come into Smith's life until the teenager was 14. The two have not lived together for more than 2 years, Dennison said.
"He did not raise the child. The child may have lived in his house for about one year and that's it," Dennison said.
Chief Markle plans to let the law run its course and won't allow for his stepson to get any favoritism if charges are filed.
"I assure you he will do nothing to influence. He will do nothing to ask for special treatment. He will not ask for special treatment," Dennison said. "It will be a totally hands-off approach."
The other person in the video is 16 years old, and his parents refused any comment.
Since he is 16 and not facing any charges, KDKA is not identifying him at this point.
No charges have been filed yet against either teenager. The Game Commission says it's still investigating a video allegedly showing two hunters torturing an injured deer.
"While we understand the desire for a swift response to the conduct displayed in the video, the proper legal steps must be followed in an investigation of this manner," the commission said in a Facebook post.
For almost a week, Brookville leaders have been fielding calls from around the world about the video.
They are trying to explain to people that they can't do much because the incident happened outside their jurisdiction.
"The borough is cooperating in any way possible. We do not wish to hinder in any way possible," Borough Manager Dana Schreckengost said. "Hunting is a big part of our community. A lot of people participate in it. A hunter is truly a conservationist. To watch something like this happen is just horrible to see."
Hunting groups like the Pennsylvania Hunting and Fishing Addicts are also demanding answers saying that the video shows actions that don't represent who they are as hunters.
The Game Commission told KDKA News the two individuals in the video are reportedly from Brookville, but that doesn't mean the event happened in Brookville.
If you have any information related to the video, you are asked to report it to the Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-888–PGC-8001 or the Game Commission's Northwest Region Dispatch Office at 814-432-3187.
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