This Just In: June 10 - 17 | This Just In | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Groundhog Day

Summary: An Armstrong County man likes his wine ... and his shots. Reporter: Shannon Perrine, WTAE Channel 4 Airtime: 2 minutes, 2 seconds on May 31 Highlights: * When anchor Andrew Stockey alerts us to "a scare on the Allegheny River." He continues, "Three people -- including a 3-year-old child -- are close by when shots are fired from ashore." * When Perrine explains, as she points to everything but the grassy knoll, "David Check tells us he was firing his gun. He fired right over in this direction. The boaters were way over there, he says. He was trying to protect one thing: this -- his garden. The peaceful scene disrupted by a groundhog." * When Check says, "I have a, sort of a thing, about groundhogs. So I go and get a rifle and I shoot the groundhog and next thing, there's a guy over here with a boat. And he's [shouting],'Whoa whoa whoa whoa!'" * When Perrine reports, "State police charged David Check with recklessly endangering another person and terroristic threats. He said the couple in the boat with the 3-year-old were angry, swearing at him when the shots were fired." * When Check says, with indignation, "You had to hear this guy's mouth. And I'm going, 'What the heck is your problem?' And he's got a little baby in the boat!" * When Check adds, "[My wife] says, 'David, don't, don't!' And I said, 'What?' And I turned around and there's two groundhogs up here. So, needless to say, I got a vendetta on groundhogs. So I did them." * When Perrine reveals, "Last week, David says the same couple was fishing right here, getting their lures too close to his boat cover. So he asked them to stop. He said he did it again Sunday before the shots were fired. Police said Mr. Check also had been drinking." * When Check not-so-candidly tells Perrine, "Now I admit, that I do like my little bit of wine occasionally, you know. And it was a holiday, so I had a little bit of wine in the morning. No if, ands or buts." * When Perrine asks Check, "Do you have any concern that if you had had a few drinks, and you [were] using the gun, [it] might be a little dangerous?" Check answers, without hesitation, "Not a chance. No, no. You see me sitting here now? That's as lucid as I was that morning." * When Perrine concludes, "Mr. Check does have a preliminary hearing coming up in about a week. He says he will fight these charges." What We Learned: I think we have our poster guy for all the politicians whose platforms included support of our Second Amendment rights! Unanswered Question: Won't somebody please think of the groundhogs? News Value: 2. Not much news value, but enough entertainment value to keep me watching. I feel so guilty. 

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