As New Jersey’s bear hunt finally got underway after two years of controversy and efforts by animal rights activists to stop it permanently, four animal rights activists were charged with interfering with the hunt and one was additionally charged with making terroristic threats (and a bizarre threat at that).
Two members of the New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance — Angela Metler, 49 and Theresa Fritzges, 57 — were arrested on disorderly persons charges. Metler is the director of the NJARA, and Fritzges is the organization’s legislative coordinator. Both have played a key role in past efforts to prevent a bear hunt from going forward.
Arrested with them were Janet Piszar, 52, who was also charged with disorderly conduct, and Albert Kazemian, 49, who was charged with disorderly conduct and with making terroristic threats.
According to his arrest record, Kazemian allegedly told hunters and a state park officer,
I’ll get my Arab friends and hunt you down; see how you like it
Making a terroristic threat is a third-degree offense in New Jersey. Obstructing legal hunting is a misdemeanor punishable by fines from $100 to $500.
All four arrested activists are members of the Bear Education and Resource Group.
Almost 300 bears black beras were killed in the six-day hunting season that extended from Dec. 5 through Dec. 10. It was only the second bear hunt in 35 years in New Jersey (a similar hunt in 2003 claimed 328 bears).
Four arrested, 216 bears taken, in N.J. hunt. Douglas Crouse, The Daily Record, December 11, 2005.
N.J. Hunters Killed At Least 297 Bears During Hunt. Associated Press, December 11, 2005.