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Stray Bullet Shatters Window Of Berkley Home

By Ken MacLeod, WBZ-TV
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A stray bullet shattered a window on the first day of hunting season in Berkley.

A stray bullet shattered a window on the first day of hunting season in Berkley.

BERKLEY (CBS) – Rennie Russo gets madder every time he looks at the shattered triple pane window, that sprayed his sleeping, elderly mother with glass.

“I can’t imagine anyone shooting in this direction,” says Russo, motioning toward the back woods. “I just can’t imagine it.”

He’s talking about the folks at the Bay State Beagle Club — who own the 126 acres behind his house — where they used to simply train hunting dogs but now actually hunt with them in these swampy Berkley woods.

WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod reports

“We’ve enjoyed such a good relationship with them for 25 years,” says Jeanne Russo.

That is until the first day of this winter’s hunting season — last Monday — November 28th.

It was a sunrise gunshot that woke Jeanne, but it wasn’t until an hour later that she discovered the bullet had broken a back window on their house at 53 Bay View Avenue — a few feet from her sleeping mother-in-law.

The 95 year old woman wasn’t hurt.

Responding officers heard shots in the dog club woods, and found a Hornady 12-gauge shotgun slug lying on the window sill.

When that officer went to the Beagle Club he found three members hunting on the property — with only one firing the same ammunition that shattered the Russo’s window.

That hunter — identified in the police report as George Moitoza — told the officer that thousands of hunters use that ammo and this particular slug couldn’t possibly be his.

The officer describes Moitoza as, “extremely defensive.”

No one came to the door at Moitoza’s Dighton home this afternoon, and the Russo’s are frustrated with the cold shoulder from leaders at the Beagle Club.

No apology. No offer to replace the window. No fruit basket. No pledge to track down answers.

The Russo’s weren’t looking for an admission of guilt — just for the club to step forward with the kind of response they’d expect from any concerned neighbor who’s actions were in question.

“It’s too bad things had to come to this,” says Jeanne. “But we need to protect our family and stand up for the whole neighborhood.”

So as the Massachusetts Environmental Police pursue the origins of the mystery slug, the Russo’s warn other neighbors — and worry.

“There’s no way my grandchildren are going to come to this house,” says Rennie pointing toward the club, “as long as they’re shooting up there.”

Some club members told police that hunters behind a nearby cemetery, or off Howland Road might be to blame — a scenario that would require the errant slug to almost make a U-turn.

“That’s a hell of a ricochet,” says Rennie.

The Russo’s aren’t buying it.

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