Sasquatch hunt turns dangerous, 3 arrested following shooting
Salesha Wilken Staff Writer
Rogers County Sheriff’s Deputies received a call Saturday evening for officers to respond to a shooting near 177th East Ave., north of Tiger Switch Ave., in Catoosa.
Upon arrival, deputies learned Omar Pineda shot his friend, Joseph Smalley, by accident while hunting for “Sasquatch.”
The two men often used the term “Sasquatch” when the they would go hunting in the woods near the home of Perry James, Pineda’s father-in-law, the deputies said.
The men were in the woods at approximately 10 p.m. when they heard barking, believed to be coyotes. Pineda turned quickly, accidentally firing his weapon, striking Smalley in the back, according to the deputies’ report.
Pineda’s wife, Lacey Jane Pineda, drove the men from the property to the residence, where her father, Perry Don James, contacted police, the report said.
The incident turned out to be an accidental shooting, according to Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton. However, conflicting statements by the suspect and his family wasted the time of deputies resulting in obstruction charges for Lacey Jane Pineda, Walton added.
She misled officers during the investigation, stating that other people were shooting at them in the woods, Walton said.
James admitted he threw the gun into the pond because he is a felon and was afraid to have the gun on his property. He was arrested for possession of a firearm after a felony conviction and destruction of evidence.
The Tulsa County Dive Team was called in to retrieve the firearm used in the shooting from the nearby pond.
During the investigation, deputies learned that Joseph Smalley had a firearm also, but dropped the firearm when he was shot. Deputies were able to locate the other firearm, a spent shell casing, the projectile, and blood splatter.
Omar Pineda was placed under arrest for reckless conduct with a firearm and obstruction. Joseph Smalley was taken by ambulance to St. John’s Hospital and was rushed into emergency surgery.
“To our knowledge, there are no Bigfoot sightings in Rogers County,” Walton said. “Our focus is catching career criminals and thugs. We are going to stay focused on that and let someone else worry about Bigfoot.”