An “Animal Lover” in Colorado doused part of his neighbors ranch in gasoline and attempted to burn it after he learned that the neighbor killed a bear that frequented his propoerty.
According to Aspen Daily News, 69-year-old Thomas Andersen had grown fond of the bear which often visited his property and was beyond furious when the bear was shot on his neighbor ranch on September 7, 2018. In response, the animal lover attempted to burn down his neighbor’s ranch.
On 18 June 2019 Andersen was sentenced to two years probation after he pleaded guilty to felony attempted arson and misdemeanor disorderly conduct. He is also required to pay a fine of $2,500 and perform around 60 hours of community service in addition to completing an anger management evaluation.
Andersen, according to a sheriff’s office report, doused the ranch’s property with gasoline and berated the hunter’s young sons with excessive profanities following the Sept. 7 legal killing of the bear.
The report states that the caretaker of the ranch on which the bear was shot said he had given the hunter permission. The hunter had a bear license and deputies learned from Colorado Parks and Wildlife that the hunt was legal.
Andersen’s wife read a statement that spoke of her husband’s strong work ethic and love of animals. She asked the judge to consider his age and the limits on his time whenever he is together with his family in the Roaring Fork Valley.
“I want you to know that Tom respects the law,” she said. “Please be merciful for my sake and the sake of my children.”
It seems the judge took her plea to heart in view of the light sentence.
The case shows the deep divide in the Aspen area. The DA highlighted this in his statement about the area.
Aspen area is known as a liberal community where animals are treasured and protected, the Western Slope also has residents with libertarian sentiments and hunting privileges. He said he found the hunter to be a working-class citizen and as responsible as a hunter can be, with a deep respect for animals. The bear was killed for its meat.
Personally I think the Judge set a dangerous president that allows for hunters to be harassed with little repercussions.