COLD CASE: Fox Killing Incident at Robert Moses Two Years Later Remains Unsolved

by FIN |

The fox was simply known as “14” which was her ear tag number. Who committed this pointless act, and why hasn’t he been caught? (Photo by Christina Daly)

By Emma Boskovski ~ Christina Daly, 33, of Glen Oaks, Queens, witnessed a series of events that led her to call the New York State Park Police on Jan. 14, 2017, around 4 p.m. She reported what she believed to be the illegal hunting of a red fox by a man with a crossbow at Robert Moses State Park, Field 2. Two years later, there are no known developments about charges against the man who committed this crime.

“Some of the other papers got my story wrong,” said Daly. “I didn’t see the man physically shoot the fox. I was out there taking pictures and I had seen the fox come out from the trees, and there was also a car parked there. I didn’t want to scare the fox, so I ran around the trees a little bit. When I came back out, the fox was gone, and the man had turned around with his trunk open. I figured that he was also taking pictures.”

CBS News published an article on Jan. 18, 2017, that ran with the headline: “Search On For Man Who Killed Red Fox With Crossbow At Robert Moses State Park,” and details from authorities said that the man who committed this crime faces a variety of violations under both environmental conservation and state park laws, as well as additional criminal charges.

“I had asked him where the fox went, and he claimed there was no fox,” explained Daly. “I responded, ‘what do you mean, I just saw it,’ to which he replied that it ran down the road. I knew I had just seen it there, so I looked around. I saw the fox laying under a tree, and it look injured, so I thought to myself that maybe he hit the fox with his car and didn’t want to say anything. When I walked closer, I saw the blood of the fox, and the arrow, and took a photo. I figured that I could take the photo to the park police.”

Most state parks on Long Island strictly prohibit any kind of hunting, including Robert Moses, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

“The man, who I then realized shot the fox, looped back around in his car,” said Daly. “I took a photo of his car and his license plate. I then called the park police, and when they arrived, the man had looped back around again in his car. I pointed him out to the police.”

The incident received a decent amount of media attention, including reports from the New York Post, CBS, and Newsday. All articles stated that “police are searching for the man.”

“They must know who it is, considering that I had taken a photo of the license plate of the vehicle,” said Daly. “All they have to do is look up the license plate of the car.”

According to the DEC, crossbows may not be used for hunting any wildlife in Suffolk, Nassau, or Westchester counties.

“The park police had come to me and shown me a [photo] lineup of six men,” said Daly. “They asked me to identify who I had seen. I was unable to identify the man who had shot the fox because none of the photos were recognizable to me. I didn’t get a complete look. Considering it was winter, everybody is all bundled up.”

The fox was a mature female that had been one of 11 that were ear-tagged by researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to study the impact of the red fox on Fire Island’s piping plovers, a threatened species, according to an email Daly received from the college. Fire Island News sought comment multiple times from New York State Park Police Public Information Officer Randy Simons for this article, and received no response.

The New York Post article published about the incident on Jan. 18, 2017, ran with the provocative headline: “Cops hunt for preppy jerk who killed fox with crossbow.” Fire Island News also shared the New York Post article on its Facebook page at that time. To date it remains he highest viewed and shared stories we ever had since present ownership has had control of the page. The Post and other publications that covered the story at the time describe the offender as a male in his 40s or 50s, wearing a black suit jacket with a button-down pink shirt and jeans on the day of the incident, and driving a white Jaguar X-type or similar appearance vehicle.

“I have no problem with hunting; my brother and father hunt,” said Daly. “I have a problem with the way this man was hunting. Those foxes will come right up to you; to me that isn’t hunting, and Robert Moses State Park is a protected area. If you want to hunt, do it the right way. I didn’t expect the park police to make an arrest or press charges, but I thought a fine would have been appropriate. I think it would have been nice if they had done something so that people know it isn’t okay.”

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact New York State Parks Police Long Island District Headquarters at (631) 321-3700 or (631) 669-2500.

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