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Further charges pending for man who crashed truck into three deer on purpose

Further charges are pending against a man who intentionally hit three deer March 21 on the south side of Ely were Central Avenue becomes Hwy. 21.

Casey Meadows, 20, formerly of South Dakota, now of Ely, has already been issued tickets totaling $1,800 by a Minnesota Conservation Officer.

His name wasn’t released by the DNR until after the Echo went to press last week.

The ticket relates to use of a motor vehicle to chase wild animals.

This week Ely Police Chief Chad Houde confirmed his department is seeking additional charges.

“We have referred this to the county attorney for additional charges of animal cruelty and careless driving,” said Houde. “We’re hoping they’ll add those on.”

Houde said the event was so bizarre it took him a moment to realize what had happened.

“I know people feed deer in that area and at first I thought it was an accident but he admitted to doing it on purpose. I was just as much in shock as the community was,” said Houde.

The next issue was where did the call occur and Houde said it was on the line between the city limits and the Town of Morse.

“Our department was initially dispatched but it was good teamwork with St. Louis County and the DNR. Even the public helped ID the suspect,” said Houde.

Meadows ended up confessing which led to the actions by law enforcement.

“Anthony (Bermel) went with the best charge he could. What we did was sent the additional charges to the county attorney to see if they can add some more charges,” said Houde. “It’s up to them at this point, I hope they do.”

Houde said the animal cruelty statute was meant for pets but it applies to all animals.

He said additional animal cruelty charges can lead to a felony level charge.

“If we can get more, let’s get more. As an outdoorsman I was furious but I have to take a step back and be professional.”

The deer were so badly injured they had to be shot and killed.

Retired police chief John Saw came on the scene and dispatched the deer.

He posted online about the incident that Meadows is a VCC student from South Dakota.

“Real men and sportsman do not act like this,” wrote Saw. “This suspect can be assured that he will never get a job as a Conservation Officer or other after his actions which he committed this night.  I’m glad that so many people in our community spoke up and stated how they felt.

“I sure was mad as hell at what I had to see and witness these three deer suffering on the road after being run over by an idiot who sure as hell was not thinking of the consequences of his actions.  Witnesses to this horrible scene were crying and left horribly upset. Thank you to our Ely Police Department, Sheriff’s Office and DNR for bringing this tragic investigation to an end.”

Bermel said the driver had a heavy-duty bumper guard on his truck, which sustained no damage in the incident.

Bermel issued Meadows a citation for chasing or injuring wildlife by use of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor with a $300 penalty, and also issued state restitution orders for $500 for each deer, for a total penalty of $1,800.

Meadows can either pay the ticket and restitution or challenge them in court.

According to the Duluth News-Tribune, court records show Meadows paid citations for having a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle in 2021 and for not having a current sticker on his snowmobile earlier this year.

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