June 16, 2017
The Toledo Bend fishing dispute that escalated over a public fishing area led to charges for both men involved in the altercation.
A dispute over a fishing spot on Toledo Bend Reservoir led to charges for two men, including one who pulled out a gun.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said in a news release that the incident happened June 12 on Toledo Bend Reservoir, where Dean Bullara, 56, of Opelousas, La., and Donald Johnson, 48, of Deridder, allegedly argued over a public fishing area near Kite's Landing about 10 miles southwest of Negreet.
Toledo Bend Reservoir is located in the Louisiana-Texas border.
Both men reportedly called 911 to report the incident.
According to the news release:
When LDWF agents and SPSO [Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office] deputies arrived on scene they learned that Johnson and his wife were fishing the area when Bullara pulled up in his boat demanding Johnson leave the area. After a lengthy and heated dispute over the public fishing area, Johnson pulled a firearm on Bullara.
Agents cited Bullara for harassment of persons lawfully fishing, according to the news release.
Johnson told officers he pulled the handgun because he felt threatened by Bullara.
Deputies arrested Johnson and charged him with aggravated assault with a firearm. He was booked into the Sabine Parish Correctional Center in Many, La.
The dispute arose over an area that included a submerged brush pile, Louisiana Sportsman reported.
"I have been told by the captain this has been a recurring problem, especially more here recently," LDWF spokesman Adam Einck told the website. "At the end of the day, these are still public places."
Aggravated assault carries up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. Harassment of persons lawfully fishing can result in up to a $750 fine and 90 days in jail.
LDWF defines harassment of lawful anglers:
The harassment of persons lawfully fishing regulation provides that it is unlawful to disturb any hunter, trapper, or fisherman who is engaged in the lawful taking of a wild animal or who is engaged in the process of taking, with intent to dissuade or otherwise prevent the taking, or to prevent such person's enjoyment of the outdoors.
The agency urged people in the news release that citizens to call local authorities if they are being harrassed.
Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Andrew Mitchell and Agent James Smith.