Two charged: Decoy deer loses tail in sting

news-harding-beseckerSheriff Chip Harding, left, hopes embarrassment will deter illegal hunters, such as suspect Richard Todd Besecker, right.
PHOTO COURTESY ALBEMARLE SHERIFF'S OFFICE

An Albemarle Sheriff's Office decoy deer had its tail shot off December 15 in an operation in which two people were arrested for alleged spotlighting and a third–- a pregnant juvenile–- may face charges.

"Can you imagine what they thought when that tail flew up in the air about 12 feet?" asks Sheriff Chip Harding, who observed the operation from about 75 feet away. He says the alleged shooter in the car's passenger seat used a 12-gauge shotgun to blast the fake Bambi.

The deer sting was in response to complaints from landowners in the Carter's Bridge area on Route 20 south, says Harding.

Richard Todd Besecker, 18, and Thomas Allen Bollinger, 29, racked up nine hunting violations along with marijuana possession and destruction of property charges. The pregnant juvenile, scheduled to give birth in about 10 days,  was driving the car, says Harding.

"Embarrassment," says Harding, "is part of my pledge to prevent or deter people from engaging in this behavior."

As for the deer decoy, which also lost a battery pack to buckshot, "It's in the hospital right now," says Harding. "It'll be up and moving soon."

Read more on: chip hardingdeer hunting

36 comments

Amazing how a story about catching poachers has degraded into a whinefest by individuals who are running on sour grapes. Oh well, I love a good "discussion".

Quote: ââ?¬Å?I hate all volunteer organizations. They are the biggest waste of money and time....”

Just to show you how ignorant this comment is; how many individuals in these United States owe their very lives to "Volunteer Organizations"? How many communities would not exist without the Volunteer Firefights, EMTs, Civil Airmen, State Militia, Reserve Officers/Deputies, Search-and-Rescue Members, etc.

As far as his comment: "Local volunteer organizations should be governed and regulated by the county Board of Supervisors. They are the experts." Did anyone notice how well these "experts" handled the recent snow storm? Notice how the main roads outside of Albemarle County and inside Charlottesville City seemed to be in much better condition than those within the County?

I've been involved in dozens of Search-and-Rescue missions over the years and I don't recall ever seeing any of these "Experts" suiting-up, throwing a pack over their shoulders, and voluntarily giving up their own earned vacation to search for those lost or missing. So much for trusting such "Experts" to run an honest-to-goodness community-based program.

FWIW, I have been a part of an organization that is composed of nothing but VOLUNTEERS for more than 26-years. It's called the UNITED STATES ARMY. This includes work as a Paratrooper, Aviator, and Civil Affairs Officer in direct support of Special Operations Forces. In case you weren't aware of it, the UNITED STATES MILITARY is made up of nothing but VOLUNTEERS. Most of these are not lifers but only want to serve their country and their community just like most of the rank-and-file of the Albemarle County Reserve Deputies. In fact, the current roster includes quite a few Veterans of all the branches of our military to include those who are retired.

For FWIW, I have over 8-years' experience as a Reserve Deputy and at one time provided Mr. Larry "I Hate Volunteers" Claytor with the back-up he needed to catch a hit-and-run driver. This occurred while I was on my way to my full-time job and ON MY OWN TIME.

To those who have not done their homework, the percentage of "loose cannons" in any Reserve LEO organization is not very different from the Full-time LEO ranks. The biggest difference is most of the volunteers are driven to do their assigned duties in the service of their communities either FOR NOTHING or out AT THEIR OWN PERSONAL EXPENSE. This included paying for my own way and devoting my own time to attend the same Police Academy as the full-time LEOs. For most of us, our primary motivation is nothing more than the belief that we should try to make a difference within our own communities.

Being a ââ?¬Å?Professional” does not mean that you get paid for the performance of your duty. It means that you handle yourself with the proper amount of decorum both in public and on a public forum (such as this). Now you know why Larry C. was not elected as the Albemarle Country Sheriff’s Office at least THREE TIMES.

Everyone have a safe and Merry Christmas!!

Fake Gasbag Self Ordained Expert and CC, are you two having fun?

Or I suppose it's entirely possible that perhaps CC actually thought I had made the remark dated Dec 22, 2009 at 10:50 p.m. HAHAHA!

Former_Volunteer, correct. Full time has as many loose cannons as the auxiliary. If not more. I would bank on full time actually having more.

At least the guy will have a story to tell at his white trash chrismas...(assuming he will be free on bond to poach a tree)

I see by the comments here that Albemale & Charlottesville liberal folks are still trashing police and Sheriff staff whether they are active or reserve. When are the rest of you all going to learn you have let too many Yankees and Hippies to live here. The libs are messing up everything. Next the libs will be teaching us to hate ourselves because they have trashed just about everything there is to destroy our faith in here in America. Send them back to Detroit, New York, Boston and Los Angeles for punishment so they can be bored with themselves. Nothing left to trash there!

I hate all volunteer organizations. They are the biggest waste of money and time. Local volunteer organizations should be governed and regulated by the county Board of Supervisors. They are the experts. I am also an idiot, who likes insulting good citizens almost as much a urinating into the wind.

I'm a brainless idiot with no balls. If I had balls, I wouldn't hide behind a Username and bash honest hard working good people on web blogs. If I had the balls... oh if I only had the balls.

quote: "After extensive state certified training they are sworn in and provide back up support for all Sheriff Office functions.”

That statement is very misleading and bothers me somewhat if it is on the website. The auxiliary deputies do not attend a state run training facility and receive state certification at the completion of said mandated training.

The statement simply says that state certified training is passed on to them. And it's passed on to them by the full time state certified deputy sheriffs within the department.

quote: "This action by the Sherifff’s Dept was all over the news before they implimented the decoy”Š”Š”Š”Š"

It's no different than the dumbies who ran through radar after the city police ctually published where they were setting up in the past. :)

Double dippers? That's quite a scheme he's got working there. "After twenty(? -I'm guessing) short years, I'll move on to a new job after being passed over for the Charlottesville police chief job."

I guess he should be more shiftless. That's the American way, right? I mean, he hasn't even sued anyone.
So, he cleverly advanced the DNA work for his personal benefit? That's about the saddest, most cynical thing a former law enforcement person could say.

Get a life.

This action by the Sherifff's Dept was all over the news before they implimented the decoy............jacking deer is a way of life for the not so smart

Chip Harding is well qualified for the position he holds. Larry Claytor, his opponent in the last sheriff's election, was well qualified as well of course.

Then we come down to reality of "qualifications" required to hold the position of Sheriff. And the fact is that anybody who runs for office and wins the sheriff's election is qualified. As long as the voters elect the person, the person can be a one armed quadriplegic with an IQ of 56 and no prior law enforcement experience whatsoever.

I do agree with Larry though, some of the auxiliary deputies in local departments in this area are nothing short of an unopened can of worms as far as liability is concerned. Had one flipping his badge and messing with me one evening until he found out who I was and the fact that I knew just a tad bit more about the law than he did. I referenced the specific motor vehicle code section involved for him and told him he needed to study it very carefully when he got home.

Okay, so how exactly does this article devolve into the qualifications of the law enforecement guys? People shooting deer out of season or spotlighting them is supposed to be the story. I have known about this "sting" for sometime and have give a little advice on how to make it move for realism. Now I would be curious how one of these guys didn't get a statutory rape charge vis a vis the "pregnant juvy". Or is that law not enforced if you are spotlighting deer? And by the way Gasbag. You cannot be a "one armed quadraplegic". It's impossible. Quad means 4. That means all four are either missing or are paralyzed. And "Larry C." sounds a lot like a disgruntled deputy by that name.

quote: "I see by the comments here that Albemale & Charlottesville liberal folks are still trashing police and Sheriff staff whether they are active or reserve."

I do. When they deserve it. Like when they tase a handcuffed drunk in the back that was outrunning a small army of cops. If we don't have at least one cop who can catch a handcuffed drunk in a foot race, they need trashing.

Now speaking of auxiliary deputies, or "reserves" if you prefer, most of them do an excellent job. And they do it for free. But, just like full time cops, the reserves have a few loose cannons as well.

quote: "...please review this good man’s contributions to the community of many years of service."

Observer, this is certinly true. But Chip Harding is in a very elite club. He is therefore well compensated for his efforts. What is this club you might ask? The "double dippers". He is receiving a city retirement check each month, and will soon also receive a county retirement check each month as well . If this is what he planned with all his DNA work, and "name recognition" paying off during the sheriff's election, more power to him! He sure beat the system as far as I am concerned. In other words, he did good, and we are paying him good.

Couldn't be put any better ohno 50 I just hope and pray that ole Santa clause brings fartbag and Larry the unable guy some attention cause obviously they are lacking due to bashing hardworking people remember Fellas none of us her on earth are capable of judging others especially till you walk a mile in ones boots

Mr/Mrs/Miss for the record, please forgive me for asking this this question. Were you awarded a high school diploma in either Charlottesville or Albemarle County? Or anywhere for that matter?

Larry c. states: "There are armed people in the Sheriff’s Office who look just like ââ?¬Å?real law enforcement” who have no greater training than anyone else on the street."

The Albemarle County Sheriff's Office states on its website:

"The Reserve Division is made up of forty dedicated volunteers that have met the same basic hiring requirements as full time officers. They pay for their own uniforms and firearm. After extensive state certified training they are sworn in and provide back up support for all Sheriff Office functions."

This information should clarify things for Larry C. Hopefully he will refrain from sharing misinformation in the future.

quote: "That’s about the saddest, most cynical thing a former law enforcement person could say."

Hang around. I'm sure I'll amaze you even more in future threads.

quote: "So, he cleverly advanced the DNA work for his personal benefit?"

Maybe. Had a sheriff not long ago who likes to think he did great things with the neighborhood watch program. And all he wanted in return for it was "name rocognition".

I find it hard for you to believe that elected officials do plan ahead many years before even seeking any particular office. Name recognition is better than all the yard signs and bumper stickers in the world. A candidate in the latest city sheriff's election thought "name recognition" was easily going to carry him to home plate.

quote: "....being passed over for the Charlottesville police chief job."

I like Chip Harding. He's OK. He'll do OK as county sheriff, it's not much to the job anyway. But I don't think he's "police chief" material. And obviusly the city agrees with me.

Longo on the other hand is "police chief" material. IMHO, he'll be fine until he lets a few liars and a few rookies take him down.

It is against the law period to spotlight. So I am a little confused as to why this story was turned around to bash the sheriff department. If another department did this would they be bashed as well or do people making comments have personal issues with certain people in the department. No one on this earth does a perfect job. There is always something that someone does not like. All departments here and any other state have a few officers that maybe should not be doing that kind of work. As a matter of fact every employment has people like that. For those who are bashing, I pray that you never have a huge deer outside of your house that someone spotlights on and shots and it hits your house. How would you feel then. Would you take up for the sheriff department or police department who try and stop those guys or say it's okay I can fix the house to the one who shot it. I am not a officer and I can't say that I know everything about the law and I am not pretending that I do know everything like other people are on here. If you were not there then you don't know who was and how many reserve deputies it was compared to full time guys. Is there a difference in those guys to you or is everyone the same? It seems to me that maybe people are jealous because they are not the sheriff and getting attention or people are just bored and want to put comments on here to get them self attention. As for the guys being embarrassed, they should be because like someone else said above, it was all over the news and people were warned about, so if you are stupid enough to try it anyway then you take what you get.

For all you people who think you know stuff about the sheriffs office i hate to tell you this but, you dont have any idea what you are talking about i.e Larry C. who im positive has more then just a personal problem with the sheriffs office, sounds more like jealousy to me.
You aparantly know nothing about the sheriffs office.

my father is a reserve officer and let me tell you they are well trained and well qualified for the jobs they do. And when they are on the job there is ALWAYS a full time officer with them, for 'just in case' purposes. But they are ALL trained and qualified. The reserves do all the same training a real officer would do minus the police acadamy, but they still get the same training, and the same qualifications.
And Locust Ave. Guy- Chip Harding does infact have a background in law enforcement. Look it up.
And i might as well add the fact that the reserves are VOLUNTEERS who pay for their uniforms and go through all the training to do their work for FREE. thats dedication. and if you have a proplem with that then why dont YOU become a reserve and walk a mile in their shoes. Dont judge something you have never experienced and that you dont understand.
Larry C. says "if you are over 65 years of age, over 65 pounds overweight, and have an IQ of about 65, you too can become a Reserve" according the the sheriffs office the requirements to be a reserve are as followed:
-At least 21 years of age
-Meet the same standards as if applying for a full-time paid deputy position.
-H.S. Diploma or G.E.D.
-Valid driver’s license
-No criminal record
-Good character
-Good health
-Citizen of the United States
Good health means not 65 pounds over weight so looks like you were wrong there. Meet the same standards as if applying for a full-time paid deputy position. hmm would you look at that. they have to meet the same standards as the full time PAID deputy positions. And if you received a high school diploma or even a GED then you most likely have a IQ way over 65. I think some of yall need to go to the sheriffs office website and read up on their information and requirements. it might do you some good and teach you a few things about our Sheriffs office, a few things you were misinformed about.

Steve, the biggest hurdle is admitting you have a problem. Congratulations on taking that first step.

I just had to add that contrary to what Larry C. posted there are those who are in the Albemarle County Sheriff's Office Reserve who are Certified Law Enforcement, having attended the same DCJS Academy and training as he did. FWIW.

I can't even begin to tell you what an embarassment it is for these guys because they were arrested by Sheriff Reserve Officers who quite literally have nearly no training whatsoever and certainly are NOT certified law enforcement. Basically, if you are over 65 years of age, over 65 pounds overweight, and have an IQ of about 65, you too can become a Reserve. Plan on looking just like the Full-Timers, but you'll have no clue what you're doing and you'll be sure to be knee deep in a future civil suit.

Yeah, Larry, Chip Harding has no background in law enforcement, and I'm not sure how he managed to get that advanced degree either.

I have a hunch he wasn't out there with a bunch of bumbling fools.

Literacy is an important right to all Americans. Unfortunately, folks like Locust Ave. Guy can't seem to master it. "Reserves" is the key here. Reserve Officers derive their "powers" from the Sheriff. They need not have anything else, literally. A Reserve Deputy Sheriff needs only the approval from the Sheriff to practice law enforcement as no training or any other criteria is required. THAT'S THE PROBLEM! There are armed people in the Sheriff's Office who look just like "real law enforcement" who have no greater training than anyone else on the street. Feel safe yet? And here's the zinger - the Reserves principally run the Game Enforcement operations. Throw into that the fact that, in this situation, the task was to catch poachers (i.e. people known to have guns and willingness to use them carelessly) and do you honestly think this isn't an accident waiting to happen when an untrained, unskilled, and unprepared non-law enforcement officer is quite literally within range of someone shooting an active firearm in the middle of the night and they are asked to deal with them? This is laughable. Good thing the Sheriff showed up for the photo-op though. After all, he doesn't even need to do that as he signed up for getting the job done, not necessarily doing anything himself. That's the beauty of the Sheriff's Office. He doesn't need to come to work - ever - but he is held accountable for meeting the demands of the county and state. How do you give that impression? Answer: By being around when the cameras are out and you've got the toothless bad guy in the shiny bracelets.

Did I miss the pic of the toothless bald guy?

my oh my, i cant read, apologies

i guess literacy is my problem

Mr/Mrs/Miss Just Me, I am gonna jump in with both feet as soon as I see Larry C. say anything that's not totally accurate. Even if he is a "disgruntled deputy", I have yet to see Larry C. say anything that's even remotely less than accurate.

I once worked for a sheriff that could only be located if he knew the media or cameras were going to be around. :)

Well, you could still be paralyzed from the neck down and have only one arm couldn't you? God I hate to agree with gasbag, but he is right about SOME of the reserve deputies.....Don't let it go to your head GSOE. I particularly like the part about working the Carters bridge area due to complainants. The good sheriff probably doesn't realize that the owner of that farm or the farm next door bought that mechanical deer for the sheriff's office about 6 years ago and they always put it up near that persons farm.

GSOE, did you check out my shout out?
http://www.readthehook.com/blog/index.php/2009/12/07/charlottesville-mal...

Like that I <3 JADE blogger, you better
Check yourself before I wreck your stealth.

maybe we could rent the deer for tigers next batchelor party...

did you say it moves?????

For the sake of the peanut gallery here, maybe you two brilliant guys could explain why you're no longer working in law enforcement. I know, I know, it's not anything you did.

Mr Harding - Thank You

For those idiots who do not know, please review this good man's contributions to the community of many years of service.

We need more Chip Hardings. The cheap shots are not appreciated by the community. If we were to add up the accomplishments of these critics I doubt we could impress a 5 year old.

Mr. Harding, please forgive these guys.

For the record there were 4 fulltime officers as well ar the sheriff with numerous other so called untrained reserved deputies so unless you actually know what your talking about most times its best you not because we all know what opinions are like and it seems quite a few of you not only have one but are one no replies necessary unless you just plain have no life or were a sipopter of poor disgruntled Larry c

Larry C. and Fartbag sound like they are very knowledgeable about the Reserve Division and the Sheriff’s Office (NOT!). It sounds like they were not qualified or turned down to be Reserve Deputies. Don’t be jealous guys, just keep applying maybe one day the Sheriff will lower his standards and hire you. As far as Chip Harding goes”Š he is a working man’s sheriff. It doesn’t get any better. He’s all about getting the job done effectively and efficiently. Don’t confuse Chip with the previous sheriff. The previous sheriff was a TRUE politician. When he wasn’t backing out of buildings, he spent his time sitting on boards and having meetings just to have meeting. Larry C. and Fartbag sound like they are very familiar with how the Sheriff’s Office used to be. Chip’s a different kind of sheriff. He has morals and standards.

Here's the simple solution, run for Sheriff on the next election.