—Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) today praised the Pennsylvania Game Commission for filing felony charges against two Brookville, Pa., teenagers who recorded and distributed videos of themselves repeatedly kicking a defenseless white-tailed deer.
“I am pleased that the teenagers who are committing blatant acts of animal cruelty in this disturbing video will face felony charges under the animal abuse law I wrote to address such egregious behavior,” Stephens said.
Charged were filed against Alexander Brock Smith, 18, and a 17-year-old juvenile male. Each faces two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty and two felony counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated animal cruelty, as well as several other misdemeanor and summary counts.
The Nov. 30 incident for which Smith and his accomplice were charged was seen worldwide via social media. The Game Commission became aware of the incident soon after the videos were posted, when one viewer shared a video to the agency’s Facebook page.
Stephens contacted the Pennsylvania Game Commission and urged those seen in the video be charged with a felony under Act 10 of 2017, the animal abuse law Stephens wrote.
“What makes this especially vile is that we know links exist between animal abuse and acts of violence against people,” Stephens said.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, each defendant said they were hunting together Nov. 30 on property Smith’s family owns in Beaver Township, Jefferson County. The juvenile shot and wounded a buck, then missed with a follow-up shot. The deer was immobilized, video was taken, then shared through the messaging app Snapchat.
Smith has been arraigned on charges and was released on $50,000 unsecured bail.
“The teens’ behavior was outrageous,” Stephens said. “My hope is this case will stand as an example of how seriously the Commonwealth now treats animal cruelty.”
Representative Todd Stephens
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster