Man whose horses were shot and killed by neighbor now charged for allegedly letting bull roam

By WKTV News

NEW BERLIN, N.Y. (WKTV) - The man who owned six horses that were shot and killed by his neighbor has now been charged in a separate incident involving his animals.

New York State Police have charged Joseph Mocco Jr, 68, of New Berlin after investigating a report of a bull roaming upon land located next to Hunts Pond Road in the Town of New Berlin. Mocco was charged with one count of unlawfully allowing a breeding animal to roam.

Authorities say that a bull, owned by Mocco, was found on property without the consent of the land owner.

Mocco was issued an Appearance Ticket returnable to the Town of New Berlin Court on May 9, 2012 at 6 p.m.

Over the weekend, six of Mocco's horses were shot and killed by his neighbor, Lauren McMaster, 75, when the horses were reportedly on McMaster's property.

McMaster was charged with six counts of criminal mischief in the second-degree and six counts of cruelty to animals. He posted bail from the Chenango County Jail.

McMaster lives next to Mocco's property on Hunts Pond Road which has many other horses and cows. Police said McMaster and Mocco have a history of confrontation and that McMaster filed a complaint about a week ago about the animals.

"I can tell you that we were called by the defendant on two prior occasions in the last week about the animals on his property," says Captain James Barnes of New York State Police earlier this week. "We responded to those. At that point we were attempting to mediate the dispute between two property owners. The matter was still unresolved from when this happened."

The deceased horses were found on Mocco's property, but authorities believe most of the horses were shot on McMaster's property.

"We believe that at the time, they were shot, at least five of the six were, on the defendant's property," Captain Barnes said on Tuesday. "We believe the sixth animal may have been shot on the owner's property."

State Police would not comment on the condition of the horses when they were discovered by the owner owner.

McMaster is due back in the Town of Columbus court of Friday.

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