On Sunday March 19, 2017 Mayor Pro Tem Stephen (Steve) Durbin unexpectedly passed from natural causes at a local hospital. As an employee of the Town I’d like to say that Mr. Durbin was diligent in researching Town financial issues, helping prepare budgets, working with our Assistant Town Secretary and offering friendly, well-meant and educated advice and guidance to staff. We’re going to miss his weekly visits and genuine concern about the welfare of everyone who works for the Town.
Last month we received a report of a gunshot and the sound of a yelping coyote. During the investigation of the call we had multiple witnesses confirm the gunshot and then officers observed a coyote limping around on three legs. For several days thereafter we received multiple calls about the three legged coyote but were unable to catch up to him as he would speed away through drainages or into trees. We suspect the three legged coyote eventually died from his wound as we haven’t had reports in quite a while.
A few notes about the Town ordinance regarding discharging a firearm and common sense. We live in an urban community that abuts areas that contain wildlife. Deer, coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, skunks etc. are part of the world we live in. Wildlife attacks on humans (and specifically coyotes) are extremely rare. You are far more likely to be bit by the family dog. The rule of leaving wildlife alone and it will leave you alone is a good one to follow.
Double Oak Town ordinance prohibits the discharge of firearms with the following exception: “A handgun, rifle or shotgun may be fired or discharged for the purpose of protecting oneself, one’s property, or one’s domestic animals.” If a coyote were attacking your dog, your family, or I suppose, trying to steal your car you could discharge a firearm. Before you pick up a firearm and blithely discharge it in the direction of a coyote I ask you to consider that in our modest 2 ½ square mile home we have approximately 1000 roof tops. Each one of those buildings contains adults, children and pets who don’t deserve an errant shot to come crashing in and injure them.
Know your firearm and know your capabilities. If you fire that gun at a coyote we have a 100% expectation that you will hit your target and understand whether your weapons platform will drive a bullet through that coyote and then into your neighbor’s house, child, corpus etc.
Firearms ballistics vary widely dependent upon the weight and velocity of the bullet fired (and many other factors). This is a surprisingly emotional issue amongst the shooting community so I’m going to rely on data developed by the National Rifle Association www.nrafamily.org/articles/2016/11/22/gun-safety-ammunition-maximum-range. Data on the relatively modest 9mm bullet indicates that maximum travel for that round is 2,130 yards or approximately 1.2 miles before that bullet comes to the end of its flight. Rather than assess how many of your neighbors are within 1.2 miles from your home let’s be realistic and ask how many neighbors are within a one second flight time of your 115 grain, 9mm bullet traveling at 1237 feet per second. Look around your neighborhood and ask how many neighbors would be within four football fields of where you are standing? Bullets don’t care about property lines. Law enforcement isn’t going to care that you were shooting at a coyote, missed, and shot someone’s house instead.
You would stand an extremely good chance of being charged with Deadly Conduct by discharging your firearm in a populated area and disregarding the possibility of striking a human being. The stakes get even higher if that bullet strikes a human and then a plethora of felony charges become available dependent on the totality of the circumstances – Injury to a Child or Elderly Person, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Murder, Capital Murder, Manslaughter or Criminally Negligent Homicide (all dependent on your culpable mental state, age of the victim, type of injuries – did you mean to commit the offense, were you negligent in your actions etc.?) Shooting your neighbor, spouse or child and then telling us you were gunning for a coyote just is not going to fly with an investigator.
Before pulling that trigger be sure of your target, backstop and beyond. Don’t shoot at anything you aren’t prepared to destroy. Absolutely treat every firearm as if they were loaded at all times. Keep your finger off of the trigger until you are prepared to fire…there is no going back if you miss.
I’m strongly urging that you keep pet food bowls in your home, or a garage, or a shed. Don’t leave food refuse out for days at a time and watch your smaller pets closely when they are enjoying the outdoors.
Please, and again, coyote attacks on humans are incredibly rare. Leave the wild life alone. In my opinion (and in this case it really does count) don’t be shooting in our community unless you are convinced a person’s life is in danger (or you are in compliance with the Town ordinance).
Recent Police Calls
Loose Livestock – 11000 blk. Ranch Road, Copper Canyon – Officer assisted County Deputy with rounding up horses that had escaped their pasture.
Suspicious Activity – 8100 blk. Justin Road, Double Oak – Officer observed an unknown vehicle occupied by two men parked near a cell phone tower that has been burglarized in the past. Officer made contact and determined that they were company employees waiting for the wind to die down before inspecting the tower.
Solicitor Complaint – 200 blk. Cross Timbers Drive, Double Oak – Officer made contact with one door to door vendor and explained the Town permitting system. Subject quit soliciting and departed the neighborhood.
Assist Agency – 1900 blk. East FM 407, Bartonville – Officer acted as cover while Bartonville PD communicated with a motorist.
Suspicious Vehicle – 2200 blk. East Jeter Road, Bartonville – Assisted Bartonville PD with investigating a suspicious vehicle.
Disturbance – 8400 blk. Canyon Crossing, Denton County – Family disturbance caused by adult child who was “…acting crazy.”
Motorist Assist – 200 blk. Simmons Road, Double Oak – Officer helped motorist who had run out of fuel.
Abandoned Vehicle – 100 blk. Tanglewood Lane, Double Oak – A USPS vehicle was abandoned in a traffic lane. After further investigation a tow truck was dispatched to remove the vehicle.
Suspicious Circumstances – 100 blk. Timberview, Double Oak – An unknown person rang the doorbell twice and jiggled the front door handle at approximately 1:21 p.m. Complainant observed a black pickup truck, with an unknown business printed on the side and occupied by two Hispanic males leaving the area.
Agency Assist – 2600 blk. East FM 407, Bartonville – Double Oak Officer assisted Bartonville with a traffic stop that resulted in an arrest.
Animal Complaint – 200 blk. Colonial Court, Double Oak – Report of a barking dog at 12:17 a.m.
Disturbance – 6200 blk. Kings Road, Double Oak – Neighbor dispute regarding dogs.
Meet Complainant – 7700 blk. Justin Road, Double Oak – Reporting Person was accidentally locked inside the property of a commercial business after employees shut the gate. Reporting Person was released after officer obtained the pass code and determined there was not criminal intent.
Assist Agency – I-35 W, Argyle – Assisted Argyle Police Department with searching for a reckless driver.
Assault – 3700 blk. Justin Road, Double Oak – Allegation of assault with bodily injury, that resulted in hospitalization, by a known suspect. Offense is under investigation.
Forgery / Fraud – 100 blk. Brown Cliff Court, Double Oak – Caller reported possible identity theft.
Assist Agency – Bentson Drive / E FM 407, Lantana – Bartonville Officer requested cover while investigating a suspended driver’s license.
Welfare Concern – 700 blk. Cross Timbers Drive, Double Oak – Officer was dispatched on a welfare concern. Upon further investigation it was determined to be two people having a heated conversation. No offense committed.
Motorist Assist – 100 blk. Chapel Hill Drive, Double Oak – One vehicle accident in which young driver lost traction while driving.
Assist Agency – 4400 blk. Long Prairie Road, Flower Mound – Officer assisted Highland Village PD and Flower Mound PD with looking for a suspect that escaped from a local hospital.
Arrest – 300 blk. Waketon Road, Double Oak – While conducting a traffic stop officer determined the male motorist, 51 years of age, had four active warrants from Euless, TX. Subject was arrested and transported to Flower Mound Jail.
Robbery – 400 blk. S. Hwy 377, Argyle – Officer responded to a robbery call at a local gas station. Officers were unable to locate the suspect.
Animal Complaint – 200 blk. North Forest Lane, Double Oak – Officer secured a malnourished stray dog and had transported to the animal shelter.
Assist Agency – 3500 blk. FM 407, Bartonville – Bartonville Officer requested cover for the conduct of a traffic stop with multiple people.
Assist Fire Department – 200 blk. Cross Timbers Drive, Double Oak – Resident was burning on a non-burning day.
Credit Card Abuse – 300 blk. Waketon Road, Double Oak – A resident reported that an unknown person had used their credit card without permission.
Suspicious Activity – 300 blk. Lake Trail Court, Double Oak – At approximately 2:48 p.m. an unknown motorist driving a blue / grey Toyota Tundra Pickup was observed opening mailboxes and not placing anything inside them. Multiple police units responded to the area but were unable to locate the vehicle.
Suspicious Activity – 1100 blk. Kentucky Derby Drive, Bartonville – At approximately 11:27 p.m. a witness reported two unknown men parked, in the dark, on a cul-de-sac acting strangely.
Suspicious Activity – 200 blk. Meadowknoll, Double Oak – Caller reported, at approximately 11:36 p.m., a suspicious vehicle that they believed may be casing their home.
Street Blockage – 8100 FM 407, Double Oak – Report of three large coolers in the roadway.
Animal Complaint – 200 blk. Green Ridge Drive, Double Oak – A resident found an injured opossum. Officer waited until arrival of animal control.
Animal Complaint – 100 blk. Cedarcrest Lane, Double Oak – Tow loose dogs walking along Cedarcrest towards FM 407.
Welfare Check – 200 blk. Fox Trot Lane, Double Oak – Reporting party was concerned about a friend’s well-being.
Disturbance – 400 blk. Simmons Road, Double Oak. Dispute between family members.
Animal Complaint – 100 blk. South Forest Lane, Double Oak – Report of loose black lab in the neighborhood. Officer contacted the pet owner.
Disturbance – 4000 blk. Mahogany Lane, Copper Canyon – Disturbance between two known parties.
Animal Complaint – 100 blk. Cedarcrest Lane, Double Oak – Caller found two large dogs at her door. Officer located animal owner and dogs were returned.
Welfare Check – 200 blk. Double Oaks Drive, Double Oak – Spouse worried about her elderly husband’s welfare. Missing subject was found at Wal-Mart by a neighbor.