- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 19, 2001

Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police have arrested two men and a 16-year-old Gaithersburg boy in the slaughter of two Canada geese in Montgomery Village.
Thomas Thor Dunn Jr., 20, and Evan Edward Grodsky, 18, were arrested Sunday at their homes in the 18700 block of Walkers Choice Road, near where the geese were killed. Mr. Grodsky posted $5,000 bond yesterday, but Mr. Dunn, whose bond was set at $20,000, remained jailed.
The identity of juvenile offenders is protected by law.
A confidential tip from a Montgomery Village resident led to the arrest, DNR spokeswoman Heather Lynch said. As of yesterday afternoon, the suspects had refused to talk to police, she said.
The hunt for the killers, led by DNR police and joined by federal and local authorities, began May 31 when wildlife advocate Jane Wilder and her husband found a decapitated goose on the doorstep of their town house on Lake Landing Road.
Mrs. Wilder said the goose left at her door was probably killed on a bridge near her home where lots of blood spatters were found.
On June 2, two more headless geese were discovered. Surgical gloves were near the body of one goose found in a park near the Wilder home. DNR investigators believe a snapping turtle killed the other dead goose, which was found with its head partially severed at a nearby pond.
Mrs. Wilder said she believes all the dead geese are tied to an altercation she had May 28 with a group of people who were allowing their spaniel to chase geese at the pond. She said the people became angry when she insisted they leash their dog to protect the geese and comply with a county ordinance and pond-side sign prohibiting dogs from running loose.
When the group returned later that night, a woman in the group threatened to do her "bodily harm," Mrs. Wilder said.
Police charged Mr. Dunn with two counts of animal cruelty, two counts of hunting waterfowl during closed season and two counts of hunting with an illegal device.
They charged Mr. Grodsky with one count each of the same offenses for his role in the killing of one goose.
Investigators could not tie a woman to the killings, Miss Lynch said.
DNR police are working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine if they can charge the men with federal crimes under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which protects Canada geese. Conviction on federal charges could cost the men six months in jail and fines of $15,000 for each act.
Under Maryland law the killings are misdemeanors. But, after Oct. 1, Maryland joins 31 other states in making animal cruelty a felony.
If convicted, the men face three years in jail and fines of up to $5,000 for each animal-cruelty offense. Hunting waterfowl out of season and hunting with an illegal device each carry a maximum $1,500 fine per offense.
Montgomery County police also charged the men with separate civil offenses of animal cruelty which carry a $500 fine.
The tipster could receive a $2,000 reward, posted by the Humane Society of the United States, if the men are convicted.
The geese were part of a Canada goose population that has burgeoned in Montgomery Village, a community planned around lakes, as well as in other suburban neighborhoods where ponds and vegetation attract them.
Living side by side with humans makes wildlife, such as the Montgomery Village geese, less cautious and more vulnerable.

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