Hunter involved in Mattituck altercation charged by DEC

Courtesy Photo | The charges recently filed against the upstate hunter who shot and killed Bear, a former policeman's German shepherd, are not related to the dog's death

Two men involved in an altercation in a wooded section of Mattituck last month now face criminal charges.
The hunter, who claims he was beaten with his own shotgun by a former police officer after he shot and killed the man’s dog, will be arraigned in Southold Justice Court on Feb. 28 on charges of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of an occupied dwelling and for hunting without the landowner’s permission.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation filed the two charges against Daniel Lamphere, 63, of Rensselaer, N.Y. on Wed., Feb. 9, said DEC spokesperson Aphrodite Montalvo. He is accused of firing a weapon 461 feet away from a house in the Farmvue neighborhood.

Neither charge involves the dog’s death.

The first charge is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $200 to $1,000 and 15 days to three months in jail. Hunting without permission is a violation carrying a fine of up to $250 and 15 days in jail.

Mr. Lamphere said he was hunting with a friend on Jan. 26 when an unleashed German shepherd came at him. He told police he fired a single shot from his 12-gauge shotgun in self defense, killing the dog. According to police reports, the animal’s owner, former county police officer Jon Ferris, approached Mr. Lamphere with his handgun drawn, took away the shotgun and reportedly struck Mr. Lamphere in the head with the stock butt. Mr. Lamphere was taken to Peconic County Medical Center with a head wound requiring 12 staples to close, according to the criminal complaint.

Mr. Lamphere said he had permission from a neighbor to hunt in the open area, owned by the Farmvue homeowners association.

Mr. Ferris faces a single charge of second-degree assault, a felony carrying punishment of up to seven years in jail. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment and is to return to Southold Justice Court on Friday, Feb. 25.

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