By Greg Little Group Editor
BEACH LAKE — A Beach Lake man who authorities say admitted to killing a black bear last week was arrested on Monday.
William S. Hazimof, 26, has been charged with one count of misdemeanor unlawfully killing big game in a closed season, according to Bill Williams of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Northeast Region.
Hazimof was arraigned before Magistrate Ted Mikulak and faces a maximum fine of $3,000 and up to six months in jail.
In addition, Williams said the Game Commission will seek the "replacement cost of the animal." That is part of Pennsylvania code, he said, and in this case, the amount is $5,000.
The incident was reported last Wednesday morning when Pennsylvania Game Commission officers Frank Dooley and Jim McCarthy responded to a reported roadkill scene in Beach Lake.
When they arrived on the scene, the officers discovered the black bear, which weighed more than 500 pounds, had been shot.
Dooley estimated that the bear had been in that location for "less than two days."
The officers immediately brought the bear to this newspaper and a story was published the next day about the incident.
Williams would only say that officers "received information" that Hazimof might have been involved in the incident.
He said officers interviewed the suspect and "he admitted" to shooting the bear.
The case is now in the court system and works like any other matter, said Williams.
Williams urged area residents to use common sense in trying to avoid bears.
He said having a food source in the area is "almost exclusively" the reason bears come into more populated areas.
Those sources can vary, but are mainly garbage cans and bird feeders, he said.
Williams said residents should "minimize" the food sources on their property to avoid any encounters with bears.
He also said that Game Commission officers will work with area residents in dealing with bears.
They will help people in minimizing the risks and will also, if necessary, remove bears if the become a nuisance.
Under no circumstances, he said, should anyone harm a bear and never intentionally feed bears.