A state Correction Officer who claimed he had fired his weapon at a would-be burglar when he was actually aiming at another type of masked rascal—a raccoon—faces as much as seven years behind bars.
Anthony Greaves, 34, of Jamaica, Queens, was arraigned Aug. 2 for a September 2018 incident during which he emptied his .45-caliber semiautomatic in the direction of a raccoon perched on a fence bordering his 109th Ave. property, the office of acting Queens District Attorney John M. Ryan said.
‘Emptied My Clip’
He has been indicted on charges of reckless endangerment and criminal mischief, among others. If convicted of all charges, which also include false reporting of an incident and injuring an animal, he faces a maximum of seven years in prison.
A witness told an NYPD Detective that she looked out her back window about 10 p.m. on Sept. 25 after hearing a neighboring dog barking and saw the raccoon atop Mr. Greaves’s white fence.
She told the Detective that she then saw Mr. Greaves fire several shots at the raccoon.
Mr. Greaves, who was suspended without pay by the state DOC the day after the incident, at first denied that account. “There was some guy there trying to break in and I let a round go and then I ran it empty,” he told the Detective.
He subsequently walked back that statement: “I was shooting at a raccoon that was fighting with my dog in the backyard,” he told the Detective. “I emptied my clip. There was 8 rounds.”
The raccoon disappeared, but small amounts of blood on the fence indicated that the animal was hit, according to the DA’s office. The Detective found six shell-casings in Mr. Greaves’s driveway, and seven rounds in the fence and one in the witness’s garage. The Detective later saw a bloodied raccoon in the basement window seal of a nearby church.
Police found that Mr. Greaves had a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun.
Mr. Ryan said he acted recklessly and “endangered the well-being of everybody in the area that day.”
“The false report wasted resources,” he said in a statement. “This is certainly not the way a law enforcement officer should behave.”
Raccoons, which are native to the Northeast and, increasingly, to the city, are protected by law. They cannot be hunted or trapped without a license from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. They also cannot be kept as pets.
Although very smart and adaptable, they also carry diseases. Four rabid raccoons were identified in and around the Inwood Hill Park area in March, the first time since 2011 rabid raccoons were found in the city.
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