Brazil man arrested for shooting at two teen fishermen

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

REELSVILLE -- Two Center Point teens got more than they bargained for on a Sunday afternoon fishing excursion. The smallmouth may not have been biting, but the sound of gunfire, a vehicle chase and the arrest of a 54-year-old Brazil man provided for a full afternoon.

John Thomas Clark is in the Putnam County Jail for allegedly firing a rifle at the 13- and 15-year-old boys as they fished along Croy's Creek.

The boys were fishing on property at 7620 W. CR 1275 South, after 2 p.m., Sunday when they saw a man pull up across the creek on an ATV.

In statements to the Putnam County Sheriff's Department, both boys say they observed a man in camouflage clothing load a rifle and begin firing in their direction. One of the boys said the subject looked directly at them before firing.

Both boys advised the bullets hit so close that the two of them were splashed with water from the creek.

The teens advised they hid in the grass when the firing began, at which time the 15-year-old called his cousin Dustin Langley, who is also the other victim's father.

The boys said they got up and ran from the scene when Clark stopped firing to reload his clip.

Langley notified 911 dispatch of the incident as well as confronted Clark about it.

Langley, the 15-year-old and two other males approached Clark on the south side of the creek. Langley said he took a gun with him to talk to Clark.

When the Sheriff's Department arrived, Lt. Don Pettit made contact with Langley and the three others in his vehicle.

Deputy Adam Hull located Clark on County Road 675 West, just south of County Road 875 South.

Clark was in possession of an AR 15 semi-automatic rifle, a 9-millimeter semi-automatic handgun and approximately 70 rounds of ammunition.

Pettit investigated the scene and found 26 spent shell casings on the south side of the creek.

After being arrested and taken to the jail, Clark told police he had not seen the boys, but acknowledged he "fired 21 rounds into the mud bank at various ranges."

He said after he was done firing, he began picking up trash and burning it until he heard men approaching. He said one of the men had a handgun and was waving it around.

Upon being told to leave, Clark advised he did so, but was later met on the road by people who began following him.

Clark was preliminarily charged with criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, possession of a handgun without a permit and shooting into a waterway.

As of Tuesday evening, the Putnam County Prosecutor's Office had not formally filed charges.

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  • We need gun control in this state any wacko out there is able to have an AR 15 and shoot at our kids enough is enough!

    -- Posted by Combat VET on Tue, Mar 27, 2012, at 8:02 PM
  • They probably weren't wacko's until they started smoking that marijuana you wanted to legalize in the other article, Combat VET!

    -- Posted by My Dime on Tue, Mar 27, 2012, at 8:28 PM
  • Stay on topic we are talking about gun control.

    -- Posted by Combat VET on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 8:06 AM
  • This article is not about gun control. It is about idiot control. Idiots are why everybody is down on guns. Sounds like they really need to check the area. This idiot is out there to protect something he doesn't want found.

    -- Posted by dude1 on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 8:57 AM
  • dude1 I totally agree!!!

    -- Posted by clgruener on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 9:09 AM
  • Amen to that dude1!!!!

    I am glad to hear that the boys came out of this unscathed as it could have easily ended up having a very different and tragic ending.

    Good job to all involved.

    -- Posted by Proud of My Country on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 10:54 AM
  • Interesting spot Mr. Clark picked to fire his weapon(s). Why not pick a levee or someplace safe? The range on the AR15 is a lot further than across a river bank.

    I agree with DUDE1 .. I'd be sure to check around that area for illegal drugs.

    Mr. Clark picked up the 'trash' and burned it, but didn't think to pick up the spent shells? Hmmm.

    -- Posted by Emmes on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 11:45 AM
  • So far not one of you has a clue to the real story of what happened, and as far as "hiding something" not at all, and to all the "Vets" on here..jump off your soap box and stand by a fellow Veteran..he didn't see the kids across the river..know what your talking about and stop ASSuming what you don't know!

    -- Posted by Dyna1 on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 3:36 PM
  • I would imagine that if anyone shot 26 times at something they were trying to hit 20 yards away they would have hit it at least once. Also why would someone that was knowingly shooting at some one stay there after they left? Something is fishy here, I think the kids might be exaggerating a little bit.

    -- Posted by MS660 on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 6:42 PM
  • As a Veteran I would never shoot a Army gun in public it is not necessarily in this community to be toting guns around everywhere. As citizens we need to teach the public what is really going out there. Its a free for all gun toting bible thump en madness.

    -- Posted by Combat VET on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 7:55 PM
  • These boys did not exaggerate I am sure. They are family and have been raised around hunting and guns all of their lives... as were their fathers. How do you exaggerate when the proof of the weapons being fired and the rounds used and left were all over the place. Oh yes.. this is Brazil... therefore we must blame the children rather than the guilty parties. Come on guys... no matter the situation, the children were in clear and present danger. That is the topic of the story. Not if the man was a vet, gun control or any other issue you may raise.

    -- Posted by Randimose on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 10:00 PM
  • If the intend was to shoot the kids they would have been hit is my point. It is unfortunate the circumstances that took place. I just cant figure out why someone would knowingly shoot at kids and then stay there unless they wanted to go to jail.

    -- Posted by MS660 on Thu, Mar 29, 2012, at 5:33 AM
  • If he had intended to shoot the kids, he wouldn't have missed..and he wouldn't have stuck around there and he left peacefully when confronted with a screaming intimidating group waving their guns that then followed him. Vehicle chase? Please!! he's on a 4 wheeler and they're in a truck stalking him..Yes, I truly believe we have some way over dramatic kids here who liked the thrill of the thought and the attention. A completely innocent afternoon turned into a nightmare by a couple of drama seekers..The truths there and a man who served his country and has held his job for 30 yrs will prove to be the upstanding man that HE IS!!

    -- Posted by Dyna1 on Thu, Mar 29, 2012, at 6:57 AM
  • First of I am glad the boys are safe! Combat Vet, out of everyone on here you of all should know that the AR 15 is a firearm manufactured for civillian use. An AR 15 is NOT an M16. This kind of miss information is how the extreme try to push there views into laws by not caring about what anyone else thinks or wants. Now Clark is obviously an idiot, people like him make responsible gun owners look bad!

    -- Posted by goodolboy on Thu, Mar 29, 2012, at 7:21 AM
  • I see that there is a reading problem. Just what part of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" is it that you cannot comprehend? It is that right that is "We, the People's" last line of defense, not only in the protection of our persons, property, and loved ones but also in our defense against a tyrannical government. Every impediment of gun ownership and the right to carry one that is now in place is, in fact, a violation of the spirit in which the Constitution was written and ratified, if not the plain English statement of the last phrase of the 2nd Amendment. That includes laws that restrict ownership, tax firearms, charge fees for documentation - even the stupid little sign on the courthouse door - violates the Constitution. And, what good do they do? They only prevent actions by law-abiding citizens, criminals are called "criminals" because they commit crimes and do not abide by the law.

    But every time a gun is involved in ANYTHING, it automatically becomes the fault of the gun and not the person. Funny, my guns do nothing unless someone interacts with them! Kind of like the knives in your kitchen or the car in your drive that can also be used in the commission of a crime or an act of stupidity.

    -- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Thu, Mar 29, 2012, at 12:20 PM
  • Sorry guys I DO SUPPORT THE second amendment but we need to get a grip on the safety issue here these are our children being killed and getting shot at.

    -- Posted by Combat VET on Fri, Mar 30, 2012, at 1:40 AM
  • As a CC tax payer I demand that this county start a gun safety program for all citizens.We did it in the Army every Tuesday morning.

    -- Posted by Combat VET on Fri, Mar 30, 2012, at 1:44 AM
  • Sounds like someone got a little shell shocked! get a grip! You sound like a "crazy gun toter" yourself ! You don't know the story and those drama queen kids were never shot at.

    -- Posted by Dyna1 on Fri, Mar 30, 2012, at 6:47 AM
  • DYNA1 Are you the guy that always says support the troops and than kicks us when we try to help? That's what America has become a nation of Hippocrates. Support of our troops is a thing of the past. Sad really. obtw It's called PTSD NOW Shell shocked was used in WW1

    -- Posted by Combat VET on Fri, Mar 30, 2012, at 10:22 AM
  • If Mr. Clark is a vet, then he KNOWS not to aim a weapon at anything he doesn't intend to kill (if not on a firing range). He would also know not to fire ACROSS an area if he could not SEE where his shots would hit.

    Even IF the kids are exaggerating .. it doesn't change the fact that the man fired his weapon in an area where he did not have adequate line of sight.

    C'mon. Stop making excuses for a poor decision. Good man or not .. vet or not .. he made a stupid decision. Now he has to pay for it.

    Plenty of good people make stupid decisions. I have, you have .. we all have. And we have to pay for those decisions.

    -- Posted by Emmes on Fri, Mar 30, 2012, at 10:43 AM
  • Very true Emmes. Well said.

    -- Posted by Combat VET on Fri, Mar 30, 2012, at 12:49 PM
  • just for the record for those who dont know, that at the scene of the shooting,it was measured a 120 feet, 40 yards,an approximent 15 foot elevation above the kids,with zero vegetation where the boys were fishing.the boys did anything but stretch the truth considering they got shot at 26 times, which was recovered at the scene. the man that shot at the teens was also on property owned by Boyscouts of America. the camp was full of boyscouts that day and was very busy. no one had any business shooting any type of firearms in that direction. we should all be thankful that no one lost their kids that day.

    -- Posted by judgejamesar15gunclubs on Fri, Mar 30, 2012, at 7:56 PM
  • Thank you Judge for having common scene on this issue. We need more peeps to help point out these problems in our community.

    -- Posted by Combat VET on Sat, Mar 31, 2012, at 8:52 AM
  • Wow a boy scout camp really!!

    -- Posted by Combat VET on Sat, Mar 31, 2012, at 8:52 AM
  • Oh please! No one was shot at that day and no kids were ever in jeopardy, give me a break! poor guys getting set up! what a bunch of idiots..Combat Vet was you there since you know so much? no! you weren't and neither was anyone else running their do you have all your information? In on their little plan to set this guy up??

    -- Posted by Dyna1 on Sun, Apr 1, 2012, at 8:13 PM
  • Well hopefully the investigation shows clearly what happened. I can see how both sides of the story seam like they need to be looked into. I am a bit suprised by some of the comments. Seams odd that someone that was supposably fighting for freedom is screaming to take it away on here. Especially just a normal carbine rifle, not like its a class 3 gun or anything. People that talk like that are what ruined Illinois.

    -- Posted by The Crabb in AZ on Mon, Apr 2, 2012, at 2:35 AM
  • So Dyna1 I take it YOU WERE there by the way you are so adament about what did or did not happen?

    -- Posted by indianamama on Mon, Apr 2, 2012, at 1:33 PM
  • Leo's comments raise(and miss) a good point. Everybody knows that it isn't the gun by itself that is the problem. Just like everyone knows that a nuclear weapon isn't by itself a reason to panic. We realize that guns are accessories for idiots to do idiotic things. Just like some conservatives realize that restricting the supply of nuclear weapons inhibits the ability of crazies in Iran from using them as an accessory of damage.

    Yet those who acknowledge that the latter point of restricting production/supply of that accessory can limit damage on one tend to pretend that doesn't hold true for the former scenario with guns.

    -- Posted by abdcd on Mon, Apr 2, 2012, at 7:14 PM
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