Oklahoma authorities arrest Hooker City Superintendent for killing stray dogs last December PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 10:21

Birddog, left, and Speckie check out an intersection in Hooker, Okla., prior to their deaths Dec. 10, 2012, when they were shot by a city worker after attempts for months by private citizens and law enforcement to catch the strays were unsuccessful.  Public outrage resulted in an official investigation by Texas County Sheriff Rick Cadell, which has led to an arrest three months after the incident. Hooker City Superintendent Forest “Frosty” Osborne was arrested Friday on two misdemeanor counts. Courtesy photo

 

By LARRY PHILLIPS
• Leader & Times
Four days after Hooker City Superintendent Forest “Frosty” Osborne shot and killed two stray dogs on Dec. 10, 2012, in the small Oklahoma Panhandle town, the L&T reported many in the community were outraged.
The public outcry immediately got Texas County Sheriff Rick Caddell involved with an investigation. Now, after three months, that investigation has resulted in an arrest.
In a Tuesday Guymon Daily Herald article by Trudy Hart, she noted Osborne was arrested Friday on two misdemeanor counts.
Witnesses interviewed by the L&T at the time, said Osborne had also shot toward the school when he killed the dogs – thus jeopardizing children – but Hart’s reported investigator Texas County Deputy Matt Boley was unable to confirm those allegations.
“(Boley) went to the scene and had the incident explained to him in detail using reference points on the golf course,” Hart wrote. “He stated only open land lies beyond where the dogs were shot and that he does not believe there is any evidence to support the accusation that Osborn shot toward the Hooker Public School in a reckless manner.”
Hooker resident Gary Olinger, who was interviewed by the L&T in December, had been feeding the dogs with for some time, along  with other residents, trying to gain their confidence in order to take care of them properly. They also tried numerous times to catch them but to no avail. The animal lovers had also named the dogs: Speckie and Birddog.
Osborne admitted killing the dogs and said in a written statement to the mayor and the town council at the time he was helping acting chief of police Buddy Holbert to try and catch the dogs that day.
After several attempts to catch them or tranquilize them, Osborne wrote, “I then determined that the only way to get the dogs was to dispose of them, which I did.
“At no time did Chief Holbert order me, tell me or ask me to make that decision.”
Hart reported that Osborne, “… advised he had no intentions of being cruel to the dogs by shooting them and declined to answer as to whether he was authorized to shoot the dogs by the mayor or police department in Hooker.”
She went on to add Osborne stated he believes he was acting in good faith under a city ordinance, which reads in part an officer or employee of the city, “… may enter upon the premises of the owner or other private premises to take such animal into custody, and, if with reasonable effort a dog or cat illegally at large cannot be caught, may kill it, either on or off private premises.”
In Hart’s report, “(Deputy) Boley made a statement in the Affidavit For Arrest saying, ‘Throughout this investigation, there has been a common opinion voiced from most of the individuals I have interviewed and that is ‘It could have been handled differently.’ There is no doubt Osborn’s actions have disrupted the community, causing outrage for those that were caring for the dogs and sadness for others in the way the situation was handled.’
Hart added. “Court papers state ‘this misdemeanor includes willfully and wrongfully committing an act that was injurious to public morals and grossly disturbed the public place and openly outraged public decency by shooting the dogs.’”
Osborne posted cash bond Friday of $2,500.

 

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