Stray bullet hits PA man eating pizza


Mar 11, 2001
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Stray bullet hits man eating pizza

Hunter in nearby field may have fired shot


By RYAN HESS, The Express-Times

BUSHKILL TWP, PA. - A 52-year-old Saylorsburg man was shot in the neck Saturday evening while eating a slice of pizza.

Police believe he was the victim of a hunting accident.

The man was sitting by the window of Sal’s Pizza and Restaurant, in the former Laneco Plaza on Route 512 when it happened.

About 5 p.m. a bullet ricocheted off one of the restaurant’s front window frames, shattered glass and tore a curtain before lodging itself in the neck of the restaurant patron.

The victim, John Calvert, was flown by helicopter to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury Township, according to police.

Officials at the hospital could not confirm if Calvert was even admitted there.

Acting township police chief Stanley Coopersmith said the victim appeared conscious as the helicopter took him away.

By 9:30 p.m. the bullet had been removed from Calvert’s neck and he was in stable condition, said officer Michael McLouth.

The shooting occurred as dusk was setting in.

Police said they believe the bullet came from somewhere in the fields west of North Summit Climbing Gym. Coopersmith said his officers found a hunter who admitted to firing a shot that was aimed at some deer but could have flown near the shopping plaza had it missed.

"He was probably in the woods that sit on the other side of those fields and the deer crossed the field and he took the shot," Coopersmith said. "Where he was, he was probably within his rights to be in the area, but you have to know what you are shooting at. You can’t shoot toward roads and you can’t shoot at buildings."

The hunter, a man wearing a bright orange vest and hunting cap, was seated in the back of a township police cruiser while investigators cleaned up the area.

Coopersmith said he wants to recover the bullet from the victim’s neck to make sure it matches the hunter’s rifle before determining that the hunter in custody actually fired the shot.

McLouth said doctors had saved the bullet taken from Calvert’s neck, but police officials had not received it yet Saturday night.

"(The hunter) has made statements and he is being very cooperative," Coopersmith said. "He feels really bad about what happened."

Coopersmith said the hunter would be interviewed more extensively and the police department may confer with the district attorney’s office and the Pennsylvania Game Commission about pressing charges.

The only dead deer officers had found in the field Saturday evening apparently had been struck by a car on Route 512, Coopersmith said.

Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Bradley D. Kreider said if police determine the shooting was hunting related, a separate set of penal statutes designed for hunting accidents could apply.


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Apr 17, 2001
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No matter what action ends up being taken, this was a bad deal for everybody.

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