Douglas Judge Upholds Award In Bear Case

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A Douglas County judge has upheld a judgment against a Lake Tahoe man for damage caused to a neighbor's truck by a bear that he was feeding.

In January, Justice of the Peace Richard Glasson ruled that Anthony Citko had attracted bears to his neighborhood by setting out food for other wildlife.

Glasson ordered Citko to pay his neighbor, Jerry Hall, nearly $2,300 for damage a bear caused when it climbed into the cab of Hall's truck.

Citko appealed the ruling to Douglas District Court, arguing the justice court lacked authority to impose the levy because there is no state law restricting residents from feeding wildlife.

But Douglas District Judge Michael Gibbons said Glasson is empowered to enforce county code, which makes it illegal "through negligence or otherwise to allow bears access to residentially stored foodstuffs."

"Judge Glasson, in an effort to avoid a breach of the peace by marauding bears rampaging through a residential neighborhood in search of food, has sought to curtail a practice likely to attract them, and thereby potentially endangering the neighborhood, namely Citko's feeding wild animals," Gibbons wrote in his ruling issued Friday.

"This court deems the justice court's action to be within the power conferred upon it by the Nevada Legislature."