A 36-year-old Gillette man has been charged with animal cruelty after hitting an antelope early Saturday morning and “knowingly allowing it to suffer,” said Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Harold Vassar.
Vassar said the man, David Lass, and another man were driving from Boot Hill to the Axe House when they hit the antelope. They put the antelope, which was still alive, in the bed of their pickup, then went to the Axe House.
From there, they went to Wyoming Downs’ new location in the former Mingles Building. Lass planned to “grab a boulder and finish the antelope off,” Vassar said, but then decided to leave it in the truck and go into the bar.
Police were called to Wyoming Downs for a criminal trespass. Staff reported the man was in the bar, they were afraid to stop serving him and they wanted officers to ask him to leave, said Police Lt. Brent Wasson.
When officers arrived, they spoke with Lass, who told officers there was an injured antelope in the bed of his pickup. He said he hit the antelope at an unknown location and he tried to kill it but it wouldn’t die, Wasson said.
The animal had been suffering in the bed of the truck for about an hour, Wasson said.
The Gillette Police Department had to take the antelope out of the truck and dispatch it, Vassar said.
Lass, who is in the county’s 24/7 sobriety program, was arrested for the 24/7 violation and charged with animal cruelty, which is a felony, and leaving the scene of an accident.
Wyoming Game and Fish has been contacted and will be going after Lass for taking a trophy animal without a license, Vassar said.