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Windsor Man Allegedly Kills Black Bear at Home

John G. Rocha allegedly shot and killed a bear climbing in a tree on his Poquonock Avenue property.

An 82-year-old Windsor man was charged with the illegal killing of a black bear on his property Wednesday, according to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection agency (DEEP).

John G. Rocha, of Poquonock Avenue, was apprehended by Environmental Conservation (EnCon) officers at his home when they were alerted by Windsor Police that a bear had allegedly been shot and killed on Rocha's property, according to DEEP.

The bear, weighing approximately 250 pounds and between 5 and 6-years-old, was allegedly shot by Rocha with a .30 caliber rifle after "apparently causing damage to Mr. Rocha's bird feeder" in a tree, DEEP officials said Wednesday.

The bear was accompanied by a younger bear, which was unharmed.

The younger bear was described by DEEP officials as a 1-year-old weighing approximately 110 pounds, and was reportedly tranquilized and relocated by DEEP officials.

Rocha was charged by EnCon with negligent hunting, in addition to the charge of illegally killing a black bear.

According to DEEP, Rocha was "released on a promise to appear in Enfield Superior Court on January 17."

State and federal places firearms into four categories: handguns, long guns, assualt weapons and machine guns.

Per Connecticut law, long guns (rifles and shotguns) are the only category for which one needs no permit or certificate.

Assault weapons are illegal.

*This article has been modified to include correct firearm-permit requirements in the state of Connecticut.

Mary Ann Overbaugh January 07, 2012 at 05:31 PM
I am laughing about the absurdity of carry pepper spray for bears...but in CT, it is an offense to kill a bear so the only protection offered by CT is pepper spray.
Mark Kalina January 07, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Hypothetically, If I or my family were attacked by a bear, I would not be concerned about the legal ramifications of my actions at that time of the incident. I would let the lawyers and the court system sort it out later. As the old saying goes, "better to be judged by twelve than carried by six".
Jim G. January 07, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Just tax the bears and they'll stay up in the tax-free wonderland states, or catch the next plane south to low-tax paradise. Isn't that the usual argument?
Angela January 07, 2012 at 07:24 PM
I know, let's make it against the law for the bears to come into CT! That always works. Ha!
Paul Chotkowski January 08, 2012 at 05:25 AM
If you are going to post on the Farming Patch, please follow the rules and use your true and full first and last names. Please don’t flame posters anonymously! Bears and people don’t mix. Bears do not have “human rights”. I have the right to quite and safe enjoyment of my property. The Connecticut State Constitution Article I Section 15 clearly states “Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state”. I have a license to hunt. I hunt and eat what I kill. Attacking rights you don’t like because someone behaves badly is typical CT Progressive / Socialist behavior - “don’t let a crisis go to waste” pass a law. DEEP will now have Bird Feeder Enforcement Offices to ensure you don’t feed the birds when the bears are around. You will have to licence your bird feeders and seeds - there will be a ten day waiting period before you can purchase any bird related item. You will be subject to criminal back ground check every time you buy a feeder. You will be limited in the amount of feed you can purchase and you will not be allow to have more than 10 Sunflower seeds or 3 Safflower seeds in your licensed feeder at any one time - sound familiar. How does the Martin Niemöller poem go “first they came for the …” . In closing, I will offer an observation, I don’t think I have ever seen such a mass exhibition of Hoplophobia on Patch before. Please, seek professional help possibly even medication - it’s cover under ObamaCare.
Chris January 08, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Jim G., I'm not claiming anything. I'm White Anglo Saxon Male through and through--Just like Paul here. I just don't live in denial about my parasitic nature. Check it - here's a mind bomb for you ---> our White Anglo Saxon Male ancestors have killed many millions more humans than Native Americans ever killed animals and for much less justifiable reasons. The humans that have been around longer than the 200-plus year Americans, have been around longer because they're smarter. They have never been wasteful of what the earth provides them to sustain. Stories of wholesale and senseless slaughter by the hands of Native Americans are simply that. "Conservative estimates"? As documented by who?
Chris January 08, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Bill, all of these "encounters" yet you are still here, alive?! This argument is not about hunting, its about those of you who refuse to coexist with other creatures and those of us who embrace it. Some genius, I think it was Paul, tried to make it about socialism...on what he points out at the beginning of his post is the Farm Patch. He's lost all credibility but we'll include him anyway. So Mary Ann, Angela, Herp_Derp, Bill, and it seems Jim G. though I don't want to jump to conclusions because he may be very neutral in this, all seem to believe that humans are served with inalienable rights. Rights, created and decided upon by, well, humans of course. (boy do we know how to rig and outcome). Paul says: "Bears do not have human rights”. Well yes, Paul. That is because humans decide who have rights and who do not and what those rights entail. But humans never seem to consider the party they are deciding against - whether it be bears, bison, or African's who we once enslaved and still to this day treat differently. And Paul, you were close but the quote goes: "Don't let a crisis go to waste, start a war. Or two."
Chris January 08, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Paul says: "I have the right to quiet and safe enjoyment of my property" then cites that: The Connecticut State Constitution Article I Section 15 clearly states “Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state”. Paul, I feel it necessary to explain something very important here. Every bird, snake, deer or fox that passes through your property is not infringing on your rights. They are not terrorists. You do not need to "defend" yourself against every person or animal that you don't like. In a right side up world, we don't get to buy and build our dwellings where other animals naturally live and they determine that they can't live there or bother us. That's like the government telling you that their taking your home via eminent domain. You don't like that now do you? That's "against the law" you might say. But its not. Human's made that rule too and when its not convenient for you, you'll scream from the hilltops and blame it on socialism, the crux for every bad decision you've made, I'm sure. We don't get to determine eminent domain over nature. We think we do, because we make rules and laws that work for us and kill anything that thinks or acts otherwise. Its nature out of balance when we are anything other than stewards of the earth. It will come around eventually, but we can only hope that the macho machismo of our human culture doesn't force a push back too soon. I'm enjoying my view of the wildlife.
Jim G. January 08, 2012 at 04:39 PM
First of all, Paul, most of these folks aren't posting on the "Farming Patch" - many articles are shared across various editions. Second, there is no "rule" that you have to use first and last names, only that you cannot use an alias or otherwise mask your real identity. You, on the other hand, break the Fifth Rule every time you post. Verb. sap.
Angela January 08, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I like you! :) Good to see someone with the same liberty minded ideas as me.
Rocky January 08, 2012 at 10:50 PM
@ Mark. You are absolutely correct. It has been said that It only takes one to carry an urn.
Maria Giannuzzi January 09, 2012 at 02:28 PM
This has been an interesting discussion. It seems we have two choices: (1) We can either learn as much as we can about bears from the experts and practice responsible behavior and co-exist with them, or (2) we can kill every bear in Connecticut and bears in adjoining states "who may not respect state boundaries." The fact is humans who text or drink and drive, drug users, and others engaged in criminal activity are much more of a danger to the rest of us than bears will ever be. Being a responsible pet or domestic animal owner means spending money on providing a sturdy enclosure that cannot be entered or broken at night by a coyote or other wild animal. Good farmers know this. Being a responsible homeowner means spending money on a sturdy fence that will prevent most large animals from entering your property. I am amazed at individuals who will spend money on trips to Disneyland and video games, cable TV, etc., who will not spend money to erect a fence to protect their children and pets.
Maria Giannuzzi January 09, 2012 at 02:51 PM
I remember seeing photographs of huge mountains of buffalo skulls with white hunters sitting atop them from the late 1800s. If I recall correctly, there was a frenzy of organized hunting parties that resulted in the wholesale slaughter of millions of bison and their near extinction. I'm sure the railroad companies were very happy about the buffalos' elimination from their ancient territory. No pesky bison to get in the way of business. And I don't think we can blame the killing of millions of passenger pigeons and their extinction on Native Americans. Again, this was the work of white hunters; the pigeons were killed for "sport." But we have to justify wanton killing somehow, and "sport" is the way we do it. It makes killing an animal that is not as smart as us okay. They are no longer one of God's creatures, they become "game."
Maria Giannuzzi January 09, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Excellent comment, Chris.
Jim G. January 09, 2012 at 03:23 PM
History of the original human inhabitants of North American doesn't begin ca. 1600. It also was not static prior to the arrival of Europeans - what is known of the various cultures for the thousand years prior to that is that wars came and went, societies arose and vanished (and, in cases, were wiped out by others) and immense cities rose and fell *before* the first Europeans set foot here. Most of what people think they know of native North Americans stems not even from the immediate pre-Euro period but from the drastically shaken-up era after the decimation by epidemic, which was an era so different from that 1-200 years earlier that comparisons are meaningless. Keep in mind that there were NO horses here until around 1550, so the horse-based Plains Indian culture was no more than 150 years old. Back to the original topic drift, at least 35 large mammals (including horses) went extinct, more or less simultaneously, in a very short period coincident with the initial arrival and spread of humans. The only workable theory for this mass extinction is wholesale slaughter by humans - many mammoth, mastodon, giant elk, giant bison skeletons have been found with Clovis spearpoints still in their ribs and evidence of butchery. You need to keep all this prior history in mind before accepting the polished and sanitized image of basically end-stage Native American cultures.
Robert Hepler January 09, 2012 at 04:09 PM
My kids play sports. I don't want to teach them that killing is a sport. If you are doing it for food, then that is different. I may find myself at some time in life in need of killing for food, but until then, the grocery store suits me just fine.
Cari January 09, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Maybe then we should figure out how to enforce the hunting laws we have now because there is alot of illegal hunting that happens in this state.
Cari January 09, 2012 at 04:52 PM
I think people should be more concerned with an 82 year old man shooting a rifle in a residential area that is not far from a bus stop. I think soemone getting hit by a stray bullet is a greater danger than the bear.
Maria Giannuzzi January 10, 2012 at 01:26 PM
My comment was not about the possible excesses of a few Native American tribes or individuals. It concerned the indiscriminate, wanton killing of millions of American bison and passenger pigeons in the late 1800s. To the best of my knowledge most of this killing was done in a very methodical, organized way by white hunters. The killing was carried on because these animals were only viewed as game to be exploited for sport or profit. But who really benefited? Well, the railroads for one, large ranchers for another, real estate interests for another, and I'm sure there were others. It might have been possible to co-exist with the bison herds, but that would have meant less profits for vested interests as well as inconvenience for some human beings. So much easier and cheaper just to eliminate the bison as a species from the face of North America. The same strategy, backed up by government policies, was applied to Native Americans.
Jim G. January 10, 2012 at 02:03 PM
All true. However, you are casting your comments within a limited historical and cultural perspective. The changes brought by the European invasion were just one more stage in the human impact on North America. The animal slaughter of the 1800s, largely at the hands of European immigrants and egregious as it was, pales before the continent-wide slaughter to extinction of 35-40 large mammal species by the first humans to set foot here - the ancestors of what we call Native Americans. It was not "the excesses of a few tribes or individuals." It was a VERY small population that slaughtered every large animal they encountered until 35 species of them vanished. By ratio of population to sheer tonnage of meat, the killing was far beyond survival or even plenitude; the scale of it can only point to outright slaughter for its own sake. The speed of the extinctions also points to the slaughter occurring as fast as humans could migrate into each area of the continent. Nothing justifies the horrific waste, whether it's 150 years or 12,000 years ago... but you have to keep it all in proper context instead of reducing the discussion to a simplified, Hollywoodized version of history that assumes everything prior to Jamestown was a monolithic utopia.
Maria Giannuzzi January 10, 2012 at 04:54 PM
I'm not sure about this theory. I don't know much about prehistoric peoples in the Americas, but we cannot know all the factors that resulted in the extinction of these large mammals. Is it possible that the Clovis people were entirely responsible for their extinction? Were they trophy hunters? Was the killing part of a religious ritual? Apparently, the smaller mammals survived, but all the large ones did not.
Jim G. January 10, 2012 at 05:14 PM
It's all too complicated to get into in this constricted space - the information is out there if you look, though. Largest NA mammals to survive were the moose, elk, bison and grizzly. Extinctions include mammoth, mastodon, giant sloth, giant elk and others. Not worth dragging this any further aside - I just want to point out that NA was not some sort of unspoiled paradise, watched over by loving human caretakers, until Europeans arrived. The native cultures we are familar with were either products of the great epidemics or had existed as they were for no more than a few hundred years - much different cultures rose and fell across the continent over the centuries, just as elsewhere. Google "Cahokia" for a major example.
Zane January 10, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Dear Patch: Enough already. Please spare us any further comments on this article. UNCLE!!!
Jim G. January 10, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Oh, I agree 100%! Any more than four comments on, say, an article about your grandmother's favorite cookie recipe is just... overwhelming. Enough, people.
Zane January 11, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Jim G.: If only you could have tasted my Gran's cookies...
local hero January 12, 2012 at 04:01 PM
may be we should hold accountable the people who destroyed the bears home to build houses. and may be we should hold DEEP accountable for the deforestation in windsor, local terrorist they are.
Gary Larkum January 13, 2012 at 02:13 PM
More people are upset about this bear shooting than the murder of a inner city child.
Jennifer January 13, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Gary, I was thinking the same thing...how sad. I wonder how many comments if the man was killed by the bear??
Maria Giannuzzi January 14, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Who exactly was being violent here? According to news articles, the bear was fleeing Mr. Rocha and his rifle. It seems all the violence was on Mr. Rocha's part. Those who oppose violence toward bears almost always oppose violence in any form, especially toward the vulnerable, whether they be a child or a fleeing bear. And we usually act on our values to advocate for policies and programs that protect the vulnerable.
Delete profile - has been hacked January 14, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Really???? I don't see that anywhere

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