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Police and DA Still Silent Three Weeks After Man Pulls Gun on Animal Rights Activist

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Animal welfare activist and former hunter, Steve Hindi, is no stranger to confrontation. As founding president of SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), Hindi has gone to great lengths to stop animal abuse.

His methods have ranged from using ultralight aircraft to patrol for poachers in wildlife sanctuaries to securing hidden video documenting animal abuse at rodeos and targeting their big-name corporate sponsors.

In February of last year, Hindi positioned a boat on the Delaware River outside the Philadelphia Gun Club in a quixotic attempt to prevent members from shooting live pigeons that are catapulted out of boxes and sometimes left to suffer slow and tortured deaths. 

Despite his efforts, the pigeon shooters were not thwarted. Hindi remained in the boat as shots peppered the water and, according to his account, the boat and Hindi himself.

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The stakes were raised on February 22, 2011 in Warminster, Pennsylvania, when Hindi found himself facing the barrel of a semiautomatic gun on a public roadway in broad daylight. What might otherwise sound like a whopper of a tale was, in fact, video-documented by Hindi's girlfriend and SHARK partner, Janet Enoch.

This begs the question - why, three weeks after an incident in which Warminster police and Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler appear to have had ample time to sort through eyewitness interviews and video evidence [see below], have no charges been filed or findings made public?

We know that the day began with a protest by SHARK activists outside Carlton Pools on York Road in Warminster, PA. Carlton Pools is owned by Joseph Solana, Jr. who is also the owner of Wing Pointe Hunting Resort in Hamburg, PA where SHARK protested a live pigeon shoot a few days earlier.

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According to an affidavit obtained by Opednews, the protest was drawing to a close as planned around 1:00 pm when events took a sudden and dangerous change of course.

A brief car chase, with Hindi following Carlton Pools operations manager Robert Olsen, culminated in a face-to-face confrontation on a well-trafficked public street with Olsen pulling a gun on Hindi.

Soon after, both men dialed 911 charging assault by the other. As one might expect, their stories begin to diverge within the first few paragraphs of the five-page probable cause affidavit.

The affidavit stated that Mr. Olsen had phoned police earlier in the day complaining that Mr. Hindi had blocked one of the entrances to the driveway of Carlton Pools. Olsen said that this caused him to, in turn, block one of the lanes on York Road as he tried to enter the driveway.

The document reveals that when officers responded to that call around 11:00 a.m., they spoke to Hindi who told them that a car had "entered the parking lot at a high rate of speed and nearly struck him."  

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Subsequent to the gun incident, Olsen provided new details to Detective James Boston of the Warminster Police Department, stating that "Mr. Hindi jumped into the path of his vehicle and that he was forced to come to a stop."

Mr. Hindi's statements to Det. Boston regarding this event were consistent with his earlier conversation with officers at the scene; that Olsen nearly struck him at a high rate of speed.

Olsen further described, in the affidavit, how he drove by the protesters once as they were ending the protest and twice "slowly" as they returned to their vehicles which were parked away from the business on 10th Street. He explained to the police that his intent was to document the license plates of the protesters including Steve Hindi's white van.

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Cheryl Biren is a Philadelphia-based researcher, writer, editor and photographer. From 2007-2011, she served on the editorial board of Opednews.com.

Cheryl has also consulted for the Rob Kall Radio Show with guests such as Noam Chomsky, (more...)

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