A Pennsylvania man who shot and killed a deer in a Burrel Township Walmart parking lot last November has been accepted into a probation program, dodging a trial with serious charges. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Arcangelo Bianco Jr., 40, was charged with reckless endangerment, failing to have a hunting license, discharging a weapon across a highway in a prohibited area, and using a motor vehicle to hunt illegally. Bianco was accepted into the program because he was a first-time offender and instead of possible prison time and significant fines, the Derry Township man will be serving six months of probation, 20 hours of community service, and paying about $1,080 in fines and fees.
OutdoorHub reported on the story earlier this year when Bianco was formerly charged after he was caught on video chasing a deer out of a Walmart parking lot and across a roadway. The afternoon shooting occurred during peak shopping hours on November 26 and in full view of customers. Several shoppers and at least one Walmart employee stepped forward to testify against Bianco, saying the man retrieved a handgun from his truck and fired several shots at a 10-point buck. The buck fled and eventually collapsed in a residential area near the store. It is at this point that officials say that Bianco retrieved the animal and transported it to a meat processor. According to Game Commission officer Jack Lucas, who also testified in court against Bianco, the buck was trophy-sized.
“It was the nicest buck I’ve seen taken in Indiana County in a couple of years,” Lucas said.
After a preliminary hearing in May, Bianco’s lawyer Jason Huska said the man shot the deer because he thought it presented a danger to Walmart customers. Huska also stressed that Bianco was conducting himself in a “safe manner.” Bianco had pleaded not guilty to all charges. The man has since enrolled in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program offered by the state of Pennsylvania for non-violent offenders with no or a limited prior criminal record. It does not require Bianco to make a plea and after the successful completion of the program, he can petition to have the case expunged from his record.
File image courtesy Indiana Department of Natural Resources