Niagara Gazette

April 12, 2014

COPS NOTEBOOK: Road rage and turkey shooting

By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette

It would be fair to say Ryan Jackson, of Youngstown, has had a difficult couple of weeks.

Jackson has been arrested twice by Niagara County Sheriff’s deputies and, in both cases, the circumstances were a little out of the ordinary.

His first brush with the law occurred on March 17 when deputies were called to investigate a report of road rage between a motorist and a tow truck operator. Deputies found the tow truck, driven by Jackson, and asked what happened.

Jackson admitted a confrontation had taken place, but insisted he hadn’t threatened the motorist. But then deputies spoke to the motorist and heard a very different tale.

The man told deputies the incident started when he noticed Jackson tailgating him in his tow truck as they drove down Lockport Street. The driver said he pulled into the drug store parking lot and he and Jackson exchanged “unpleasantries.” 

After yelling at one another, the motorist pulled his car into a parking spot. Jackson responded by pulling his tow truck up to the man’s car so that he had no room to open his door.

At that point, the motorist said Jackson walked to the rear of his truck, grabbed a large rusty hook and length of chain and yelled, “I’m gonna (expletive) kill you!” 

Apparently, not to be out-done when it came to making threats, the motorist stayed in his car and told Jackson he’d run him over if he didn’t move.

After a little more yelling, Jackson got back into his tow truck and drove off. The entire incident was captured on video by surveillance cameras in the parking lot. 

Based on the determination of deputies that Jackson had been the aggressor in the incident, he was arrested and charged with second-degree menacing. 

Jackson later told the deputies the incident had been “a lapse of judgement.”

Not quite three weeks later, it seems Jackson had another “lapse of judgement.”

This time, sheriff’s deputies were called to the area of 720 Creek Lane on April 4 for a report of a man shooting a turkey during the noon hours. The intrepid hunter was none other than Jackson.

Jackson told the deputies the turkey had been attacking a girl in a vehicle, so he shot it for her safety.

When Jackson took the deputies to the remains of the turkey, they noticed the bird had been butchered. Jackson explained that since the turkey was dead, he had cut it up and was cooking it.

Witnesses who watched the incident unfold told a somewhat different tale than Jackson. They said the turkey wasn’t being aggressive at all.

They said the bird was just looking at its reflection in the vehicle.

Once again, Jackson was arrested and charged with illegal discharge of a firearm (less than 500 feet from a business/dwelling), discharging a firearm across a roadway, hunting small game out of season and possession of a turkey without a tag.

To say the least, this all seems pretty bird-brained to me.