NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In what appears to be a Big Apple first, a man has been convicted of poaching deer right in New York City.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, David Oakes, 47, pleaded guilty to poaching on Staten Island Friday. He left court with someone holding a jacket over his face, and when asked if he wanted to say anything about the case, his response was, “Go f**k yourself.”
“It doesn’t seem like something you’d find in the city,” said Michael Posca of Staten Island. “It’s something you’d find upstate, or you know, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania — not in New York City.”
But it did happen within the city limits, in the woods behind Schmul Park on Staten Island where deer are plentiful.
State conservation police caught Oakes setting out bait and killing deer with a bow and arrow. According to the summonses, Oakes admitted taking a big deer – an eight-point buck.
In December, the officers who tracked down Oakes posed for the cover of International Game Warden magazine. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration refused to allow CBS2 to talk to them for this story.
The Cuomo administration also would not allow CBS2 to talk to the conservation officials who were present at court on Friday.
Hunting a big buck is going to cost David Oakes exactly that – big bucks. He will have to pay a $3,000 fine.
There is a playground where Oakes was firing his crossbow, and many residents were happy to see him convicted.
“My kids are right up the block. A guy’s out there with a crossbow,” said Craig Harty of Staten Island. ”It’s terrible.”
Other residents said reports of dead deer with heads removed is a sign of a problem that goes beyond just one poacher.
“When you start to get three, four, five separate incidents, then there’s a pattern — and it’s a dangerous pattern,” said Michael Reilly of Staten Island.
The state continued to investigate late Friday, in case there were others like David Oakes out there.