Created on Thursday, 28 July 2011 16:14
A Hilltown man is accused of shooting an eleven-year-old boy and a dog with a pellet rifle. 36-year-old James “Ben” Landis of Rickert Road allegedly fired it onto his next door neighbor’s property while inside his garage. He is charged with assault of a child under twelve years of age and cruelty to animals. The dog, named “Binky,” belonged to the Bennett family next door, and the boy was visiting from North Carolina. At first the Bennetts thought another animal had attacked Binky, and the boy was hit by a stone that flew up as he was riding an All-Terrain Vehicle. Hilltown Township Police say the Bennetts started looking deeper when Binky’s condition did not improve, so they went back to the veterinarian, who took an x-ray and found the pellet. Then they called the boy’s family and suggested an x-ray, and doctors found that pellet. They were surgically removed from both the boy and the dog. The family became suspicious just days after the shootings when they found a hand-written note taped to their mailbox. It said, “There is a law against operating ATV’s in Hilltown Township,” and, “Shut your yappy dog up.” The Bennetts say Landis had been harassing them since they moved in several years ago.