Maine authorities: Charges likely for hunters who shot near Old Orchard Beach home

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November 20, 2013, 6:20 pm
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(NECN: Amy Sinclair) - An Old Orchard Beach, Maine woman says she's lucky to be alive after hunters' bullets flew past her outside her home Wednesday morning.

The Maine Warden Service says charges against the men, one of whom is a Town Councilor there, are likely.

Toni MacQuinn says she was outside with her two dogs Marina and Sailor at 7:30 a.m. when she heard several gunshots.

"They went through my fence. Hit my house and fence!" she recalled hours later.

MacQuinn says she climbed the knoll in her backyard to investigate and saw two hunters, one pointing a gun in her direction, with a big buck in between them.

"I was simply screaming at them, 'I have dogs! You hit my house!'" said MacQuinn.

She says she dialed 911, which brought both police and wardens into the Castle Estates Development that abuts her property.

"Fortunately, no one was injured," said Corporal John Macdonald with the Maine Warden Service. "But we're investigating as if they had been. This is a situation where someone could have been hurt or killed. We take this seriously."

Forensic mappers spent the day reconstructing the scene to determine the trajectory of the bullets and the distance from the field to MacQuinn's home on Cascade Road.

Wardens questioned two hunters - Ken Blow, a Town Councilor in Old Orchard Beach, and Tim Swenson, a well known local developer - who they believed fired the shotguns.

Maine law requires hunters to be at least 100 yards from a home before discharging a weapon. It is also illegal for bullets to pass within a 100 yards of a home.

MacQuinn says she can't stop thinking about what might have happened.

"This is my home. I very easily could have been shot, me or my dogs, because we were in the vicinity of those gun shots," she said.

Wardens say this incident should serve as a reminder to hunters to focus not just on the target, but what lies beyond - and it could make the difference between a trophy and a tragedy.

Tags: maine, Amy Sinclair, Old Orchard Beach, Maine Wardens Service, Tim Swenson, Ken Blow, Toni MacQuinn
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