Sunday, February 05, 2006

Man, 82, Arrested in Scuffle Over Skunk

An 82-year-old animal lover was arrested this week on allegations he grabbed and brandished a trapper's revolver during a scuffle over the skunk.

Lou Kessler was arrested Tuesday. He was released on his own recognizance Wednesday after being charged with misdemeanor counts of using a firearm in a fight and disturbing the peace.

The victim, Ron Bailey, 52, told The Press Democrat in a phone interview that he simply was doing his job as a state-licensed trapper and he believes Kessler disobeyed the law and attacked him.

The scuffle allegedly began when Kessler and his wife went to a home Tuesday afternoon at the request of an animal-rights advocate in San Francisco, who had asked them to release a skunk that had been trapped by the property owner.

Kessler's wife Margaret said she heard Bailey and his son yell, "Do not release the skunk, sir," as they charged down the hill toward her husband. She alleges the men attacked her husband and he tried to defend himself.

Bailey admits that his son, who was also at the scene, knocked Kessler to the ground but said it was only after the elderly man grabbed his gun.

"He reaches into my holster and pulls my gun out," Bailey said. "I'm looking in the barrel of my own gun - he's got it in both hands one foot away from my stomach."

Bailey is licensed as a trapper by the state Fish and Game Department and legally can carry a gun.



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