BURRELL TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – An Indiana County man is facing several charges, after wildlife officials say he went deer hunting in a Walmart parking lot.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission says 40-year-old Arcangelo Bianco, Jr., fired several rounds from a handgun at a 10-point white-tailed deer from within the Burrell Township store's parking lot, and then bagged the animal near Old William Penn Highway.
The alleged shooting happened last November, while Bianco was shopping at the store, and then saw the buck in the parking lot.
"He got out of his car and chased the deer down through the parking lot, and I believe even across Route 22," said Patrick Dougherty, the Indiana County District Attorney.
According to charging documents, the deer ran around a corner of the store, and Bianco hopped out of his truck, gun in hand, and "began firing multiple rounds at the deer."
Concerned shoppers packing the area on a busy day for holiday shopping called 911 to report a man with a gun running through the parking lot.
"One stray bullet, as we all know, could have wrecked someone's life," said Dougherty. "So, I think we're very lucky no one was hurt."
"At this time, we're not going to make any comment regarding any factual allegations contained within the criminal complaint aside from the fact that my client denies any wrongdoing and intends to fully defend against charges that have been brought," said Jason Huska, the defense attorney.
Bianco faces a misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment, as well as several hunting violations, including hunting without a license, shooting on or across highways and unlawful killing or taking of big game. The charges come after a four-month investigation.
State police initially opted to not file charges and hand over the case to the Game Commission whose charges carry stiffer penalties.
Dougherty says it was important that the charges be filed.
"Number one, we're a big hunting community, and people that are legitimate hunters were very upset about this. Number two, that people that were at risk in parking lot that night," said Dougherty.
The incident was all caught on surveillance video, which is now being enhanced by the State Police Crime Lab.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for May 1.
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