Can you imagine your neighbor shooting your fenced-in dog and then being lied to by your Chief of Police who ultimately did nothing to help? That's exactly what a family in the Village of Chataignier, Louisiana experienced when three of their beloved dogs were deliberately shot. We must urge the Louisiana District Attorney to prosecute the trigger-happy monster responsible for gunning down innocent family dogs and insist upon an investigation of the Chief of Police.
Two brothers, Craig and Austin Bayard, were at home the evening of the first incident when the family's two dogs were fatally shot this past April. Craig had let Rocky and Rem outside to relieve themselves. When he went to let them back inside, he found Rocky lying dead on the porch from five gunshot wounds. After this heartbreaking discovery, Craig watched his deranged neighbor, Jonathan Bushnell, wheelbarrow Rem's lifeless body from across the road. Bushnell whistled and laughed as he dumped the dog in the Bayard's driveway.
Craig confronted Bushnell, who responded, "Yep, I shot them" without any remorse. Craig called 911. By the time the police arrived, his parents Amy and Leo Bayard, had returned home. Police Chief Clint Brasseaux of Village of Chataignier, Louisiana, later stated that nothing could be done because the dogs had been across the street at the Bushnell's residence, and Bushnell had claimed that the dogs had chased his children (who often played with the dogs). With law enforcement's attempt to justify the fatal shootings of both Rocky and Rem, seeking justice for the slain family dogs became acknowledged as futile.
The Bayard family mourned the loss of their cherished family members and constructed an eight-foot-high wooden fence to protect their two newly adopted dogs. Tragically, their efforts did not stop Bushnell from striking again. He allegedly shot through the Bayard's metal gate and hit Tank in the neck while the dog was sitting on his own porch. Tank miraculously survived, despite a neck wound. An additional round in the form of a 22-caliber bullet was also found lodged in the Bayard's front door.
This time, the Police Chief responded to the Bayard's 911 call himself. The family's mother, Amy, later told our Justice for Animals Campaign Director Doll Stanley, that when reminded about the Bushnell's previous crimes, Chief Brasseaux said what Bushnell did in dumping the family's dogs was "immoral but that was the only thing that he did wrong."
Amy reported that Chief Brasseaux pocketed the slug that was lodged in her family's front door, and said he would take it for ballistics testing to determine who was responsible. However, Chief Brasseaux failed to take a weapon of Bushnell's along with the slug, which would be needed to perform a complete ballistics test. The trajectory of the shots substantiated that they came from the direction of Bushnell's residence, however, Chief Brasseaux did not pursue the case as he promised the family.
How is it possible that an armed man can shoot into a fenced yard, severely wound a family's dog, lodge another bullet into their door, and law enforcement can decide no crime has been committed and do nothing?
This violent individual cannot be permitted to kill and wound defenseless animals at will while jeopardizing the safety of a family by recklessly firing rounds into their home.
Please sign onto our letter to urge Louisiana's Evangeline Parish District Attorney Trent S. Brignac to investigate and prosecute Johnathan Bushnell for aggravated animal cruelty and endangering the Bayard family and his community as well as requesting that the Chief of Police's actions are investigated.
Prosecution of Man Who Gunned Down Family's Dogs & Police Chief Investigation
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