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Springs poaching suspect is soldier, Olympian

Sgt. 1st Class Dremiel Byers accused of illegally hunting tame deer

Olympic wrestler pinned with poaching

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado Springs Police said a man is facing charges for allegedly hunting deer behind a Lexus dealership.

The man is identified as Dremiel Byers, 39, a sergeant first class at Fort Carson and a Greco-Roman wrestler in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.

Police said officers were called to the dealership in the 600 block of Auto Heights at 6:52 p.m. Thursday.

Bystanders told officers that they were concerned because they saw a man using a bow and arrow to illegally hunt a young buck.

A witness who asked to be known only as Jason, said he and his friends confronted Byers after they saw him carrying a the bow.

"He told us to not worry about it and mind our own business," Jason said.  "He said he had to feed his dogs."

Jason said the buck wandered away and Byers left the area, but police eventually tracked them both down.  Police said the deer was struck by an arrow.  Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers responded and later euthanized the buck.

"The deer was shot once, kind of toward the back end," said Abbie Walls, spokeswoman for Parks and Wildlife.  "It wasn't really a clean shot.  This is the fourth case of poaching in the city this year.  We take it seriously."

Byers was cited for illegally taking wildlife and hunting out of season.  He could be fined at least $1,500.

Weston Tomberlin lives next door to Byers and said Byers has been down on his luck lately.

"He's a little hungry," Tomberlin said.  "He never asks me for help because he's too proud.  I don't see anything wrong with (the poaching incident).  The man was doing what he had to do, to eat.  He tried to do it the safest way.  He was using a bow and arrow, and not a firearm.  So he did what he could to protect the people around him.  So he was a smart man about it."

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