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Long Island Man Arrested For Shooting Down Drone That Looks For Missing Dogs

CBS New York logoCBS New York 2/25/2019 Syndicated Local – CBS New York
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ST. JAMES, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A high-tech search for a missing dog led to gunfire on Long Island on Sunday.

Now, a man is under arrest, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.

Kato Ortiz of Port Jefferson did not give up the search for “Dezi,” an 18-month-old dog he had just placed in a new forever home, after taking care of the pup for about six months. The dog was found late Sunday night.

But while the pup was missing, there were some seriously stressful moments.

“This new home she was in two or three hours. Six hours maybe at tops,” Ortiz said. “My wife got a phone call. This girl is crying hysterical. ‘You gotta go out there. Dezi jumped the fence.'”

Ortiz said Dezi disappeared from her new home in St. James on Thursday night. By Friday morning, Missing Angels dog rescue group in Suffolk County posted a call for help on social media. On Saturday, there were several sightings.

When Dezi was spotted in one neighborhood that is heavily wooded. Missing Angels immediately sent up the drone.

The group leader spoke to CBS2’s Sanchez by phone.

“So once we put the drone in the air within a few seconds Teddy had said that, um, he thought a bird had hit the drone,” Lynne Fodale said.

It turns out, according to police, 26-year-old Gerard Chasteen had fired three shotgun shots from the backyard of his home on Rutherford Street. One shot knocked the drone, a “Mavic 2 Zoom” model, out of the sky.

“I really think if he knew the purpose of that drone he wouldn’t have shot that,” Ortiz said. “I don’t think he did it intentionally. I think he felt threatened.”

Police didn’t find reason to ticket the drone operator, who was properly licensed, but did bust Chasteen for criminal mischief and weapons charges. Missing Angels said Chasteen’s family apologized.

“The family are dog lovers, so they came over to us in the end and said we have two dogs, ourselves. Our son didn’t know you were flying for a dog,” Fodale said.

Thankfully no one was hurt.

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