Wisconsin Man Charged After Bowling Ball Fired From Cannon Damages Neighbor's Barn

A Wisconsin homeowner said she found a large hole in the roof of the barn and a bowling ball on the floor near a stall that held horses.

A man in western Wisconsin has been charged after a bowling ball he fired on his property caused damage to a neighbor’s barn near a pasture where a horse was found dead.

St. Croix County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched last July 5 to a barn on 1341 Highway 65 over a report of damage to a building caused by an apparent bowling ball strike, according to a criminal complaint given to NBC Chicago. The resident said she found a large hole in the roof of the barn and a bowling ball on the floor near a stall that held horses.

The resident told a deputy she heard what she believed was cannon fire from south of her farm the night before, but didn’t call authorities because she did not want to interfere with her neighbors celebrating Independence Day, “but told [an officer] that was before she realized her barn roof was damaged,” the criminal complaint said. She estimated the damage done to the barn was $3,000 to $4,000.

A horse was also found dead from an apparent traumatic injury to the head in a nearby pasture the day the damage to the barn was discovered, though authorities said a connection between the bowling ball and the injury was not established.

A deputy talked to neighbor Ricky Thorne, 65, who “immediately began apologizing and claimed he thought his cannon fire would not have affected the neighbors in any way,” according to the complaint.

“He admitted they had been shooting bowling balls out of the cannon but seemed surprised that any of them could have reached a neighbor’s property much less impact a building,” the complaint continued.

Thorne has been charged with a felony count of second-degree reckless endangerment, according to Star Tribune. He has also been charged with a misdemeanor count of dangerous weapon use. Thorne’s attorney information was not immediately available.

Although the neighbor believes the horse died from the bowling ball, she “knew there was no way to prove that a bowling ball or pin hit the horse causing it to die,” according to the complaint.

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