Trial ordered in deer shooting from Wal-Mart lot
BLAIRSVILLE – A Western Pennsylvania man who allegedly shot a deer near a busy Walmart parking lot on the first day of rifle season last year has been ordered to stand trial on reckless endangerment and state game charges.
Arcangelo “Angelo” Bianco Jr., of Derry Township, spotted a deer in the parking lot Nov. 26, fired several shots, then ran to the side of the Burrell Township store where workers were loading tractor-trailers, wildlife conservation officers contend. Bianco allegedly continued shooting at the fleeing deer, and he eventually retrieved it from a woman’s yard on the other side of a highway.
Among other things, authorities contend Bianco violated a state “safety zone” law by firing a weapon within 150 yards of an occupied structure. Bianco also didn’t have a hunting license, authorities said.
Bianco said only that “the truth will come out” after his preliminary hearing Wednesday in nearby Blairsville, about 45 miles east of Pittsburgh.
At the hearing, employee Domenick Hewitt testified he was loading the trailers when he saw Bianco’s pickup stop abruptly in the lot then speedily reverse toward the side of the store.
“After the truck stopped, I saw this guy jump out, and he started running along the side of the store, where the trailers were, and he pulled out a handgun and fired two shots at the deer,” Hewitt said. “At first I didn’t know what he was doing.”
Blood smears found on a trailer showed the deer was nearby when Bianco fired, Wildlife Conservation Officer Jack Lucas testified.
Defense attorney Jason Huska argued the reckless endangerment charge was unwarranted because he contends Bianco couldn’t have known any workers were in the trailers when he fired.
But Indiana County Assistant District Attorney Jay Carmella said it didn’t matter whether Bianco saw the workers in the trailers, and said there also were many people in the parking lot and noted the woman who owned the home where the deer finally dropped also came out of her home.
“He had to know there was a risk of firing a gun there,” Carmella said. The district judge agreed in ordering Bianco to stand trial.