published Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Man arrested for rubbing raccoon on neighbor's property defends himself

A man arrested after police say he rubbed a dead raccoon on his neighbor’s property bonded out of the Dade County Jail on Tuesday night on the condition that he would avoid contact with his neighbors.

Shannon Wayne Hellard was arrested for allegedly threatening his neighbor in Trenton, Georgia.

Hellard gave the Times Free Press a different account of the events that led to his arrest Sunday night. He says he didn't shoot the raccoon, that he found it dead on the side of the road.

"Fresh coon," he says he told himself. "Hey, I can mess with these puppies."

To train his friend's dogs to hunt raccoons, he dragged the dead animal across the yard, leaving tracks. Then, he says he hung it in the tree so that the dogs would associate raccoon tracks with the animal hiding in the tree.

When Van Veldhuizen came outside, Hellard claims he removed the raccoon from the tree. He says they argued for about three minutes, but he never got closer than 4 feet away from her.

Hellard said he and his girlfriend will be moving within the next week.

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