Two LaPorte County men are arrested after allegedly
shooting a family horse in the head during an unsuccessful deer hunt.
Police say, 24-year-old Joseph Waldo and
25-year-old J.R. Skomac, confessed to shooting a Belgian draft horse
in LaPorte County.
“They were out at night, it was a spur of the
moment thing and they decided to shoot the horse. Prior to shooting
the horse what they confessed to is that they were deer hunting and
were unsuccessful and they saw a horse decided to shot the horse,”
says Sgt. Pat Cicero from the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department.
For the past month a reward was being offered to
solve the case but an anonymous tip eventually helped police out.
Police used forensic evidence to tie the two men back to the shooting.
The owners, Brian and Sue Satoski, say the horse
was a member of the family. The horse, named Ben, was very popular in
He was born on the family's farm, attended many
fairs, and was very affectionate with children. The Satoskis believe
Ben was called over to the side of the road and became an easy target
when the shooting happened in mid-November.
“If you had seen this... it was out and out murder.
And if they are going do this to an innocent animal what can they do
to another human being? That's what scares me,” says Sue Satoski.
The two men face up to 3 years in prison for
criminal mischief charges, a class D felony.
The community and United States Humane Society
donated thousands of dollars in reward money. A total of $4,200
dollars in reward money was eventually collected.
The Sheriff's Department will decide who deserves
Both men are now out on bond. Since the arrest, an
arrest warrant was issued for Skomac by the State Parole Board. He is
wanted for violating his parole during the time of the shooting.
The Sheriff’s Department is asking anyone with
information on J.R. Skomac’s whereabouts to call them at (800)