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Petitioning Chief of the Maryland Natural Resources Police Col. George F. Johnson

Drop the Fines Against Animal Rescuers

When James Hart and Khalilalim Abusakran saw a deer trapped in a frozen river outside Baltimore, they tried to do the right thing by freeing it – and they succeeded. But when they got to land, police officers with the Maryland Natural Resources Department were waiting for them with citations in hand. The reward for the rescue? Two $90 fines.

“We seen the deer going under,” Abusakran told the local media. “It couldn’t maintain. It was starting to freeze, and it was really getting bad.” So he and Hart decided to go out to it and free it from the ice it was stuck in. “We had oars and shovels to break the ice, for the deer to get out.”

But they didn't have life vests, as they were reminded by police officers bravely waiting onshore. Hart and Abusakran say they plan on fighting the citations in court.

They shouldn't have to, though. Colonel George F. Johnson, head of the Maryland Natural Resources Police, ought to have the tickets – which don't even list an actual offense, just the $90 fine – dismissed. Good Samaritans deserve commendations, not citations.

Photo Credit: jon


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  • Chief of the Maryland Natural Resources Police
    Col. George F. Johnson

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