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Hunter Arrested For Carrying Unloaded Gun On His Own Property

Michigan man arrested for unloaded shotgun

A Michigan hunter has been arrested for openly carrying an unloaded shotgun on his own property.

The Crawford County man was arrested after he called law enforcement officers about a man trespassing on his own land. Thomas Donald and his wife, Heather, maintain that the sheriff’s deputy demanded that all video footage of the arrest be deleted.

Donald, a hunter and veteran, was on a hunting excursion with his 11-year-old boy prior to his arrest and was carrying a single-shot and unloaded .410-gauge shotgun and his son was packing a crossbow. The father-son hunting trip was interrupted when the pair reportedly encountered a trespasser riding a dirt bike on their property. Thomas Donald said he escorted the unknown man to the front of the 10 acres and asked his wife to call the state Department of Natural Resources so a recreational trespass complaint could be filed.

Heather Donald did not being filming the incident until it became apparent that her husband was going to be arrested. Crawford Country Sheriff Kirk Wakefield disputes Donald’s version of the first few moments of the encounter.

According to the Michigan property owners, Thomas was standing with his unloaded and open shotgun in one hand and shells in the other to indicate that he was not a threat when the officer he had called for arrived at the residence.

How to hide your guns, and other off grid caches…

Sheriff’s Deputy Shawn Schnoor allegedly fumbled with his firearm and then trained it on Thomas, ordering the man to the ground. Donald supposedly drew the deputy’s ire because he did not belly-up to the dirt quickly enough – the veteran reportedly suffers from a badly injured back. The Michigan hunter was handcuffed prior to the deputy turning his attention to the trespassing dirt biker.

When Heather Donald is heard on video asking the Crawford County sheriff’s deputy why her husband was handcuffed, the law enforcement officer can be heard saying, “Because we pulled up and he had a handgun – or excuse me, a rifle.” From the ground Thomas corrects the deputy and informs him that he was actually holding a shotgun. Sheriff Wakefield told journalists from The Blaze that his deputy acted properly because if was unknown “who was who” at the time.

When Heather Donald asks if her husband’s handcuffs could be removed once the deputy knew he was the homeowner, the law enforcement official can be heard saying, “Not right now. He’s under … for our protection.” The Michigan deputy also is heard telling the woman that she “can stop filming.” Mrs. Donald refuses and is then told that her cellphone must be confiscated as evidence and the deputies move toward her to take the phone she had been using to videotape the scene.

Still cuffed on the ground, the Michigan veteran shouts, “No you won’t” when the men attempt to take his wife’s phone. The Crawford County deputy then says, “Yep. Ma’am you’re going to be under …” and then the videotaping ceases. Heather Donald said that after she was threatened with obstruction of justice charges, she placed her cellphone on a porch railing and walked away. The woman added that when she was later told to delete the video of her husband’s arrest, she complied. Using recovery software, the Donalds were able to once again view the footage.

Sheriff Wakefield believes his deputies version of the story, which includes a claim that Heather was not threatened with charges or ordered to delete the video. The trespasser claims that Thomas Donald pointed a loaded shotgun at him and detained him at gunpoint until the deputies arrived. Sheriff Wakefield admits the dirt biker was trespassing, but says the biker did not know that the trail he was on led to the Donald property. The couple claims they had reported trespassers to the sheriff’s office in the past.

The sheriff’s office believes the trespasser was actually the victim of the incident. Heather Donald maintains there a no trespassing signs on three sides of her property and she provided footage of the postings.

Do you think the Michigan man’s Second Amendment rights were violated?

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26 comments

  1. Don’t call cops unless it is vital!

  2. That will teach him next time call the cops to report you shot a trespasser on your property because you felt threatened and ask them to send a truck to pick up the body then go into your house and call your lawyer.

    I know I would move I would sell all my property and move to a state where the police know who they serve.

    • Asinine remark.

      • Tib your part of the reason that the U.S. is in the shape it’s in, in a matter of speaking your asinine. You turn a blind eye to wrong when it’s someone in power doing it, but when it’s someone with no authority, or significant social status that does it, they deserve the death penalty. Educate yourself. you know there’s a few old fairy tales you could learn from, one’s about a prince that dressed as a peasant.

  3. Baring further info, the only thing I see is the cop responded to the sight of a gun and perhaps there a different point of view on events. God forbid the cop should lie though!!! No I’m a troll or a chameleon I prefer the benefit of the doubt…

  4. What a chickens!!t power abusing cop. I can recolect being questioned by game wardens (who actually hold higher qualifications) than your typical brown. When questioned they never asked for my weapon, ask me to unload it or open the action. Matter of fact the only one who held my gun did so at my request so I could retrieve my wallet. All of them only toting a sidearm. I say this and watch next time I’ll be face down with a knee in my back. Seriously if a cop is to afraid to do his job w/o resorting to that behavior it would benefit everyone for him to find a new career.

  5. Once again, we have proof that the police are nothing more than arrogant, rent-a-cops out to cover their own ass instead of obeying the laws they are supposed to uphold. NAZIS!

  6. So the landowner can’t video happenings in her own yard? Isn’t that why police departments installed dashboard cams? The officers should have no fear of being recorded, unless they are not performing their duties correctly…these officers were in uniform so its not like their undercover identity was exposed. Had there been some event where the dirt biker attempted to run or assault the officer they would want the recording to support more charges.

  7. Next time, just shoot the trespasser. Problem solved.

  8. What ever happened to professionally trained law enforcement officers? We had two in our family and neither were the inept embarrassment to those who serve and protect today!

    • This is a prome exmple of why the sheriffs departments are not respected by the people. I have had several encounters with both the DNR and the state police while hunting and have never been treated this way.

      • Sorry I meant to say prime. Would also like to add, I have been stopped by the troopers while having my hand cun in the truck (legally) just as this man was within his legal rights. I just told them I had it and they were fine.

  9. After viewing the video and also reading through the news account of this action, I too wonder where the law enforcement officers got their training. There is several violations going on that need to be addressed. Even though the Sheriff backs his people (which I think is right), he needed to review the video before the department gets a law suit filed against them.

  10. In Texas you have a legal right to shoot anyone who trespasses on your property. Perhaps this family needs to relocate. We would welcome them here where so far we have a right to protection of life and property. If the insanity of the present regime continues, soon all Americans will lose their rights unless, of course, you are a part of a black mob, in which case you will be protected from the big bad white people they attack, rape, assault and murder. In this administration, they have repainted America. What is black has become white and what is white have become black. It is a sickness and Americans – true patriotic Americans – are paying the price.

  11. I hope they sue the sheriff’s deputy into the poor house!

  12. So…If the cops were in within their rights, why were they concerned about being filmed?

  13. I really dont see a second amendment vioation here. From what is described in this artical the officers handcuffed the tresspasser and the home owner. Did the tresspasser threaten the homeowner or did he just tresspass which in michigan is against the law but you can not point a gun at someone that posses no threat. Just my opinion.

  14. It was probably not the best idea to be holding a firearm when the sheriff arrived on the scene, the property owner should have grounded the firearm when he saw them approaching. Was the property owner merely handcuffed (secured) for the LEOs safety or was he arrested and charged with a crime? If the property owner was merely handcuffed as a security measure that is not a violation of someone’s rights, was it excessive and unnecessary sure. I am not sure what the law is in MI, but in most states it is perfectly legal to film LEOs in the execution of their duty as long as you are far enough away as to not be in the way of them executing said duty, and they can not force you to stop, nor may they confiscate your equipment. With that being said it is illegal for you to conceal the fact that you are filming them.

  15. The officer was right. When you call the cops and they arrive make sure you are NOT holding a weapon. They have no clue who you are or what the truth of the situation is when they arrive.

  16. I agree that the officer was right in detaining the homeowner. If I rolled up to a complaint the first person I would detain would be the one who could be the greatest threat until I can determine who is who ant what is going on. However, what was wrong with filming the arrest if everyone is doing the right thing. I think some law enforcement officers are afraid they might be held accountable for improper use of authority, not just force but, authority. Now there’s a problem!

  17. i thought this was an old news until i saw the date. before, it was illegal to record/film officers back then. now it’s legal. why? they’re “public” servants to protect us. so if it is public, then you have the right to record them in any public setting just as long you don’t get in their way of their duty. besides, it’s public record for any videos to be watched that is being recorded from the law enforcer’s car. you can watch it to see why you got arrested or whatever to fight it your ticket (so to speak). although, i did see some youtube vids when enforcers in their police car talking amongst each other when he realized, in shock, that he forgot to turn off the video camera and saying that now they’re going to be lose their job & get sued!!! in any event, the enforcer is in the right to hold up anybody to distinguish who is who at first. since, i didn’t see any ending results to the article… perhaps it still an ongoing process or it ended with a cover up. idk

  18. I wish that property owner could find a means to sue that bunch of nazi bootjacked retards into oblivion.

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