September 22, 2014

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Parent alleges humane control officer killed raccoon in front of kids

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — A day shy of the anniversary of the shooting of five kittens by a city humane officer, a Root Road man claimed a baby raccoon was shot dead Monday in front of three children, one of whom was his son.

“This isn’t the Wild West, you don’t just pull out guns and shoot them, especially not in front of kids,” Tim Sherrill said about an hour after one of the city’s animal control officers shot and killed a young raccoon on his neighbor’s property.

Sherrill, who was at work, said two other boys, also believed to be 10 years old, reportedly witnessed the shooting along with his son, Jordan.

The children were playing on the neighbor’s property with that man’s grandson, when the shooting occurred Monday, according to Sherrill.

“I own a gun myself,” Sherrill said. “I can understand this up to a point … that they have to put animals down, but you don’t do it in front of kids. I’m an adult, and I don’t want to see it.”

Police Chief Michael Freeman offered a different version of events, maintaining the raccoon was not shot near any children or dwellings by Humane Officer Barry Accorti, who estimated he shot the animal at least 70 yards from any house.

Freeman said Accorti shot the animal after determining there were no children present.

Accorti, the same humane officer involved in the kitten incident in 2013, followed the law, according to Freeman.

“The property owner set a trap (which was requested from the city) and called us when he had something in the trap,” Freeman said. “He gave us permission to take care of the animal on his property.”

“Because a neighbor disagrees with it doesn’t make it wrong,” Freeman said of the incident.

Freeman said the animal was shot with .22-caliber ammunition that was fired toward the ground.

“This is a highly-trained individual who can make deductions as to whether this can be done safely or not,” Freeman said. “He is a certified officer. Not somebody we just hire off the street, give them a gun, and tell them to go to it.”

Under Ohio Department of Natural Resources regulations, animals can be caught and then released or destroyed by a property owner, or permission can be given by a property owner to have an animal destroyed by another party, such as a humane officer.

Accorti became a humane officer in 2012 after retiring as a North Ridgeville police officer with 31 years’ service as a patrolman, detective, SWAT team commander and lieutenant. Over the years he received many commendations.

An adult raccoon and number of baby raccoons were removed by the city from the neighbor’s property last week, according to Sherrill.

It was June 10, 2013, when Accorti shot and killed five kittens in response to a homeowner’s request for help in ridding her property of stray cats, which have posed a problem in the city.

That incident occurred at a residence where young children were present but did not witness the actual shooting, which triggered protest from angry residents demanding Accorti’s firing, threats of legal action by humane groups, and thousands of signers to online petitions demanding action, including Accorti’s dismissal.

Accorti’s actions at the time were deemed appropriate by Freeman.

The episode led the city to announce it would no longer dispatch police or humane officers to handle feral cat calls, and to the formation of a citizens advisory committee in hopes of developing a better means of reducing the city’s numbers of stray or feral cats.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.


  • Simon Jester

    Ridgeville needs to stop offering it’s citizens any animal control whatsoever. They whine too much.

    Wait until they’re overrun with possoms, coons and feral cats.

    • Americaschild

      Totally dumb people!

    • Lori Focht

      do you know this guy? If you did you might feel different about this individual. He is a jerk all around.

      • Simon Jester

        I’m supposed to believe this because some random person on a comment section maligned his character…

        Tell me again how he’s a meanie and should’ve just drove said nuisance creature to the local park and let it go…

        Idiot.

        • Lori Focht

          because I’ve dealt with him personally. All I know is he is not kind to animals or the people who own them. It wasn’t my animal but a neighbors dog, he is nothing but a jerk.

  • stillsleepyeyes

    Wow, really…………..guess you had to be there……………..oh and Sherrill wasn’t ether……………hmmmmmm

  • Sis Delish

    Lethal injection takes too long.

  • luvmytoaster

    He’s welcome to come to my house and trap the raccoons, groundhogs and skunks that are not welcome…..

    • Americaschild

      I envy the city for having an animal control!we don’t have one

    • Otter

      They won’t do skunks…

      • luvmytoaster

        Oh really? I didn’t know that…..what would have happened if a skunk would have entered the trap I wonder…..

        • Otter

          Cross you’re fingers, hold you’re nose, open the trap, and run like the wind.

          • luvmytoaster

            LOL!

        • Sis Delish

          That’s when you take the trap to City Hall.

          • stillsleepyeyes

            Why it already stinks up there………..lol

        • HankKwah

          Should you ever catch a skunk in a trap, you should approach the trap with a blanket (or something similar) held up in front of you and put it over the trap. Pick up the trap through the blanket and transport to wherever you plan to release it. I don’t think the skunk can spray while in the trap because it can’t lift its tail high enough. But I think this will keep it from being scared even more.

  • Americaschild

    Be glad! These dam things carry rabies deadly round worm and fleas! If they get in your house insurance does not cover the damage including deadly feces and urine. Dead happens be glad it didn’t bite the kids

    • Deloris Dee Hensley Butler

      No they all do not carry rabies!!!!! I get bite 10-15 times a day by raccoons and have for over 30 years and I have no fear from this!!! Ignorance of a species, is what causes these killings!!!!!!!!! It is just plain heartless!!!

      • Simon Jester

        You’re obviously no worse off…

        How man dozen cats do you own, anyway?

  • Phil Blank

    Like shooting fish in a barrel.
    If it was in the trap, why not relocate it?
    Nothing humane about a trigger happy humane officer.
    If he is called because someone’s dog is out in the hot sun, will he shoot that too?

    • Bill

      Do you ever read the articles before you comment Phil?

      “The property owner set a trap (which was requested from the city) and called us when he had something in the trap,” Freeman said. “He gave us permission to take care of the animal on his property.”

      • Americaschild

        agreed–kill the dam thing!

    • Americaschild

      PETA lover

    • kirsten zielinski

      he probably would. humane officers do not kill animals ..that is why they are called humane officers. this guy is just pest control. if the city wants to employe him as that, fine.. then call him what he is..pest control. and believe me..he doesn’t give a rats butt where he shots because i have witenessed his shooting between houses that are not 40 feet apart at groundhogs..

      • Simon Jester

        Duh. And what does building separation have to do with anything?

    • Lori Craycraft

      He has, including a stray dog that was reported missing by the owner

      • sissy700

        Why then does the city of NR keep defending him??? Seems to me the man should retire…maybe then the city could hire a ‘real’ Humane Officer!

        • Simon Jester

          Because that’s what the job entails….

          The “You moron” goes without saying..

          • sissy700

            ‘You’ are nothing but a narcissistic ignoramus!!!!

          • Simon Jester

            Guilty as charged, I’m a big fan of me.

            Ignorant, not so much.

    • HankKwah

      It’s against the law to release raccoons.

      Ohio state law states that it is illegal to relocate any rabies vector species (skunk, raccoon, coyote, fox,

      bat). Additionally, it is illegal to “relocate” an animal by dumping it off in a Metro Park, State Park, or on

      any other public land without permission. All trapped animals must be released on the original premises within 24 hours of trapping.

      A friend who’s a trapper said he’d been told that if a raccoon is caught, it must be put down.

  • GreatRedeemer

    Id rather have this than some of these people that put out poison.

  • tommtomm

    for the question of why not trap and remove/relocate. this is illegal to trap and relocate a wild animal, you are taking it out of its home range and it will die anyways.

  • stargazer2012

    He shot and killed a baby raccoon??!! What an a*s!! This man should not be allowed to carry any kind of weapon!! It’s obvious he has no judgement whatsoever!!

    • Spec440

      Troll.

      • kirsten zielinski

        i think you are the troll. i have ived next to people who have this crap done and it is scary and annoying. i have been mowing my lawn and had them pull out guns and rifles and shot trapped groundhogs. let me tell you how that scares the crap out of you. i have seen him shoot at groundhogs from the street between my house and the neighbors house..in a housing developemnt..not far apart houses.. he is scary.

        • Simon Jester

          Poor you.

          Newsflash. You don’t have any right to be “not scared” by stuff.

          Get over it.

    • luvmytoaster

      Those cute babies grow up to be real nuisances…..

      • katofwakeman

        So do humans such as yourself but no one has shot your dumbass!!!!!

        • luvmytoaster

          WTF? Another PETA lover or are you the Sockpuppet that continues to evolve? What did I say that pissed you off?

  • FoodForThought63

    The problem is that people want something done but refuse to acknowledge how it has to be done. People love their hamburgers but block the image of cows having their throats slit because it is too disturbing for them. If you can’t stand the reality of how farm animals are killed, then don’t eat their dead bodies. If you don’t want to see a wild animal shot, then learn to live with it in your yard. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

  • reallyoldfarts

    The trolls on FB or NR haters need to have something to complain about or they would have nothing to live for…

  • Ruby Thomas Kloss

    When is Ridgeville going to get rid of this nut case, I’m sad to see that he still has a job after the kitten incident last year.

    • Spec440

      He has a job because he didn’t violate the law or their procedure. Just because you love animals doesn’t mean they don’t need to be dealt with.

      • FoodForThought63

        A true animal lover wouldn’t eat meat-I bet she eats meat so I wouldn’t even consider her an animal lover.

      • kirsten zielinski

        until you have seen this nutjob in action don’t talk about it. i have seen himin action and he is a scary sob.

    • Lori Focht

      I’ve dealt with this guy, he is nothing but a jerk.

  • Becky

    I knew this guy as an officer before his Humane Officer position, and I think he’s a little nuts. After the two animal shootings, now I think he shouldn’t
    have a gun at all.

    • stillsleepyeyes

      And I suppose your a licensed psychologist ………………..

      • kirsten zielinski

        unless you have seen this guy at work do not even comment. go back and read about how careful he is. shooting between houses in a developement. the houses are not that far apart and he is shooting over 180 feet at something with a field of horses in the back. kids are always back playing behind the houses.. it is scary

        • stillsleepyeyes

          I see your quite the expert on velocities, angles, distance bullets travel, as so we shall leave it up to you………….but when one of those wild animals bit someone……..guess we shall read that next……..

          • kirsten zielinski

            what i am an expert at is being in the house he was shooting between..having my husband out mowing the lawn between the houses and having that asshat wave him out of the way so he could shoot at (and miss) the groundhog. and there were horses in the field behind this yard.. don’t talk to me about velocities or distance or anything else unless your butt is there..whcih it is/was not. he is a moron and a menece and when was the last time someone in north ridgeville was bitten by a freaked racoon? leave them alone and they leave YOU alone. especially baby ones in a trap.. kind of like the kittens he so bravely shot last year.

          • Otter

            First I am not supporting what was done, or how it was done, but have you done anything to try to stop it? Do you have pictures/videos, or other neighbors who have seen this? Have you spoken to anyone?

          • kirsten zielinski

            it was all last summer..from may thru sept or october. if the humane officer didn’t come to shoot the trapped ground hogs the police came and did it. obviously this is an accepted thing around here. i have pictures of him sitting and aiming from his truck but who cares. it was last year. the police and the mayor support this crap. they stand behind him 100%. you would think they might have had a bit of a talk with him and told him perhaps he should not be killing baby animals in front of children. obviously they didn’t or he just does what he wants to do.

          • Scott

            kristen zielinski

            Studied at Cuyahoga Community College

            Current resident Rocky River
            Rocky River, Ohio

            Liar …. who does not live in the city of North Ridgeville or even the Lorain County but comments as though she is a resident….What a fool.

          • kirsten zielinski

            i was born and raised in rocky river mr detective.. sorry if i don’t go and change my profile enough for your master detective ways. believe what you want. i have lived in this god forsaken city for 7 years. if the housing market ever goes back to where we built this house we will be gone..back to civilization and normal police dept. and mayors. and try getting my name right..and at least i have the balls to put my name.unlike so many of you.

          • Otter

            So here’s the thing, you apparently choose to do nothing, if you were serious about this, you should have gone to city officials, the Humane Society, the ASPCA, and every news paper, and TV station. (but before you do that, you may want to work on your grammar, and spelling, or you may not be taken seriously)

          • Sis Delish

            Ask her about Dealy Plaza while your at it…

    • sissy700

      I surely wouldn’t want to live next door to him or even close by for that matter. Seems like he ‘invites’ bad publicity, especially after his episode with those kittens…..think he would know better….hmmmm

  • bigglynn

    Ohio dept of natural resources says trapped animals shall be immediately reduced to possession with means killed right in the book under trapping regulations .

  • bigglynn

    wild animals before all you tree huggers start about cats and dogs

  • ekwaykway

    Good thing proper channels were followed. Grab a pellet rifle and off some varmint yourself, you may end up facing life with no parole.

  • Creepy Gun Toting Cracker

    Freeman offered a different version? Hehe, Sounds like “hear say,” inadmissible.
    Killing racoons is like killing squirrels, kill one and there are 5 to take it’s place. I wonder if Dirty Harry will get another award for keeping the community safe from baby animals…

    • Simon Jester

      And you’re still an A******

  • Arietta Sullivan

    It quotes,’Under Ohio Department of Natural Resources regulations, animals can be caught and then released or destroyed by a property owner, or permission can be given by a property owner to have an animal destroyed by another party, such as a humane officer’ ..if you have it in your heart&there’s no injury to the animal,if you set a trap you should try to release the animal,yourself or the humane officer could have done this,also. no gun should have been involved just a heart. sad story but reality of how some people just don’t have a heart for life.

    • bigglynn

      check trapping regulations 3 one down shall be immediately killed and reduced to possession

      • Arietta Sullivan

        i guess..i just don’t agree with how it was taken care of..just an opinion,that won’t even hold up in court.

  • Bonnie Pickett

    Ten year old boys were traumatized by a wild animal being shot. I’ll bet they shoot aliens or bad guys on their game system and think nothing of it. They witness more violence on TV with or without their parents permission. If this father has a gun, what does he use it for – hunting? I would bet an attorney has already been contacted to see how much compensation they are “entitled” to for a psychologist to straighten out these kids that were so traumatized. Raccoons carry disease and are destructive animals.

  • Bob

    OMG here we go again.

  • Linda Gasbarre Halley

    If you don’t like wild animals, then go live in a condo or a high rise in the city. Many people move to the country to be around nature, not to kill. Animals have a right to be out there just as much as we do. I’d never call myself a PETA lover. There are times when killing is necessary, but I don’t believe in killing unnecessarily. I have many animals around my house. Raccoons, Opossum, Groundhogs, Squirrels, etc. and plenty of feral cats. Raccoons and Opossum are only out after dark, with few exceptions. Little kids shouldn’t be out after dark without adult supervision, anyway. I’ve yet to see a groundhog or squirrel hurt someone. Most wild animals are frightened of humans, therefore little danger. Very few are ever at risk to humans and you can usually tell if an animal is sickly. That’s when you do something about it. Couldn’t the kittens have been taken to a no kill shelter, or if necessary, taken to a kill shelter instead of killed in your yard. At least children don’t have to see the animals done away with if they are taken elsewhere. If a particular animal is a real nuisance, trapping and relocating is easy. Parents are making children afraid of wild animals, which is wrong. Get a book out or use the internet to teach them about the animals they see, so they can learn, instead of scaring them. You can’t kill them all, so why try. There will always be more. I had squirrels living in my attic. I hated it, but didn’t go out and kill all the squirrels. I solved the issue by blocking and repairing the place they were coming in. Keeping trash properly stored helps a lot, as well. With all the coons around my house, I’ve yet to have coons get into my trash because I wrap the trash appropriately and keep tight lids on the trash cans. IF THE ANIMALS CANNOT FIND FOOD, THEY WILL GO ELSEWHERE. This is usually where the problem lies. Some people just thrive on having something to complain about. Common sense is simple. Wimpy parents are shameful. Some people just thrive on having something to complain about.

    • Sis Delish

      Whew! I thought maybe you were going to also suggest living in the Inner City or something where the animals are human-sized!

  • kirsten zielinski

    “This is a highly-trained individual who can make deductions as to whether this can be done safely or not,” Freeman said. “He is a certified officer. Not somebody we just hire off the street, give them a gun, and tell them to go to it.”

    he is a madman. trained or not he is NO HUMANE OFFICER.. humane officers do not kill every animal in sight which is all he ever does. who in their right mind would call this guy to attend any animal? no one. he is out of control and so is the whole police force and mayors office if they think this is right.

    • Bill Love

      Wow u sound crazy why do you have it out for this guy some much

      • kirsten zielinski

        because i have lived in the house next to people that had him come over and shot trapped groundhogs all last summer. about every freaked 2 or 3 days..or he would sit in his truck and aim at them between my house and the neighbors and try to shoot them from his truck.. this is a developement..there isn’t 30 feet between these houses and a field with horses in it behind these houses. and there mr humane officer is..trying to shoot a groundhog from the street (over 180 feet). there are kids, dogs out..it is a neighborhood..not some wild west show.

        • Simon Jester

          I call BS.

          IF there was the slightest bit of truth to that ( I submit you’re either ignorant or a liar), He’d be unemployed.

          • Otter

            I vote ignorant, and a liar…please note, the name change…

        • stillsleepyeyes

          The houses are getting closer as we go…………….first it was 40 feet…..now its 30 feet……………

          • wkmtca

            ok..the properties are 90 feet wide..there is a house in the middle.. there is the space between each houe. you decide how far the houses are apart. i am no judge of exact distance. the property is 180 deep.. that is how far he was from the groundhogs he was shooting at..it may have been a bit farther because he was in the street. sorry if i wasn’t exact enough. i was here. you were not. as you have witenessed NONE of this..i suggest you just shut your mouth. as i am now because you all have ‘opinions’ on something you have never seen and i am sick of your stupidity..which is great.

          • Otter

            That has to hurt, being accused of great stupidity…….i would be pissed off. if i was you.

          • stillsleepyeyes

            Nah…………got to take from the source it comes from………when they run out of reason or get caught up in their own lies of the version ………they tend to lash out with name calling and hating the person that is right………..common thread on this opinion ….page……..I just sit back and laugh……….bahahahahahahaha

  • SniperFire

    They were momentarily freaked out, then settled down and returned to their zombie flesh eater Playstation game.

    • Simon Jester

      Bwahaha.

  • Eddie Firetrick

    this is why the kids in this and every other city think it is o.k. to shoot a persons cat, dog, horses, or any thing that moves. they figure if it is o.k. for this HORSES @** to do it why not them also, and why is this big bad man shooting BABY kittens and racoons? .a big brave navy seal! ya right, call me i’ll come and pick them up with my leather gloves and find them homes. this city sucks at handling any kind of situation,the only thing they know how to do is raise our taxes and stuff their pockets then pass the blame back on to us. time to clean house and start fresh with some new blood. then this city will not be a laughing stock any more.

    • sissy700

      Very well said, Eddie Firetrick!!

    • Spec440

      Call the police department and give them your info, Mr. Big Talker. Have them call you a hundred times a month to relocate these animals. Have fun trying to find a home for raccoons.

  • Phil Blank

    Kittens and a raccoon is just the tip of this iceberg.
    Sunday, June 08, 2014
    The USDA’s Wildlife Service killed four million animals in 2013
    Last year’s cull included more than 300 wolves, 75,000 coyotes, 400 bears, 800 bobcats, 500 river otters, 3,500 foxes, 12,000 prairie dogs and four eagles.

    • Simon Jester

      I’ve personally killed at least 2000 prairie dogs, over 300 coyotes and more feral cats than I can count. So if you’re going for shock value, it’s not working.

  • Larry Crnobrnja

    There’s a pattern here. Hello.

  • Deloris Dee Hensley Butler

    Everyone is quick to kill,a baby raccoon is no harm to anyone! Give these assholes a gun and it is on. I hope the coonie killer dies a terrible death himself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Or maybe a citizen will shoot him in the head!!

    • golfingirl

      Really?

      You wish this person be murdered?

      Your above comment is just stupid. No other way to describe it!

  • Deloris Dee Hensley Butler

    If humans hadn’t taken over the wildlifes land,than they would’nt have to fight for food to feed their babies!!! Just plain heartless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • stillsleepyeyes

      and you live where…………………….????

    • golfingirl

      And cockroaches have been around longer than most living creatures on Earth!

      So, if you have one in your house, do you kill it? One soon turns into thousands, or do you just live among them?

      I mean, they were here first…..you intruded on their space.

      Or is it only creatures a little higher up on the food chain you are concerned about? They all have central nervous systems, so likely feel pain.

      So where is the line drawn in your mind? When can we kill a living creature? Does it begin with ants, poisonous spiders, fish?

      Using your logic, humans stole their land and should just tolerate them.

      So where do you personally draw the line?

  • mudlovinmom

    Looks like someone is going for father of the year award! In reality his 10 year old has seen way worse on the video game system the father purchased for him and the TV he watches everyday. Give me a break, this is part of life. If the animal was sick and bit his kid it would be a whole different story. Let the man do his job, if your 10 year old didn’t want to see it he would have turned around and maybe you should get your kid involved in the outdoors more so he understands the circle of life.

  • Ruby Thomas Kloss

    The Chief needs to quit defending this A**hole nut case and fire him. If I still lived in the area I would be at every council meeting with a sign. Heartless creep…

  • Eddie Firetrick

    spec440 you are an idiot and from all of the time that I see you’r comments on here you don’t have a life of you’r own and I am not going to let someone like you tell me how to live mine! have a nice life if you can get one?

  • GadF1y

    It’s time for the city to get rid of Mr. Accorti. There’s nothing humane about shooting animals in front of children. He obviously gets a big ‘ol hard-on by doing so.

  • http://www.duckthefodgers.com/ Trademark Dave

    This obviously insane SOB hasn’t been given his walking papers and locked up in the crazy house because WHY???

  • Simon Jester

    Because I persecute the vapid?

    Friggin’ spare me.

  • Simon Jester

    I think I’ll go cry now. Someone was rude on the internet.