NORWAY — Police are still on the lookout for whomever lit firecrackers over the weekend, spooking horses at a Norway boarding farm.
The action has been described by the homeowner as “a terrible, unkind act of terror.”
The incident took place during the night of Saturday, March 12, at the home of Jason and Jessie Shiers on Pleasant Street.
“We’re still investigating who it might have been,” Norway Police Chief Rob Federico said Tuesday, March 15. “Somebody pulled into his driveway, lit a bunch of firecrackers and drove off. If they knew he had horses or not, I don’t know.”
Federico confirmed police spoke with a person mentioned by Jason Shiers, but that led to a dead end in the investigation.
“It was just somebody he had an argument with. It was the only thing he could think of but it definitely wasn’t that person,” the police chief said. “We don’t have any motive or anything like that – it could have been a number of different things.”
Jason Shiers took to Facebook to share with the Oxford Hills community what happened at their home, where he and Jessie live with their two small children.
“Jessie and I were awakened suddenly by loud and repeated explosions, what we thought was gunfire, right outside in our yard,” he wrote. “All four horses bolted thru [sic] the back fence and charged away. When we we able to find them and calm them we were lucky to find no serious injuries. However, any one of them could’ve broken a leg or worse. You cannot imagine the stress this put on these animals.”
Jason Shiers said he and his wife were beside themselves and that they’ve lived in the community for 10 years and never worried about their personal property or safety before. He said the incident resulted in “terrorized animals” and a “scared family.”
The incident left him wondering if he should continue to keep horses anymore, even though he grew up on a boarding farm in Gorham and he and Jessie have had horses throughout their entire relationship, according to his Facebook post. He worried about whether or not a similar incident would occur again and how he would keep his horses and family safe.
“What happens next time when worse injury happens to one or more of them, to a person or a child, or to my own children?!” Jason Schiers wrote. “Horses are beautiful and fun but they are extremely dangerous when panicked: nothing will stop a frightened, bolting horse, let alone four bolting horses – not a fence, not a big strong man, not even a wall or cliff. This was not ok and it shook my foundation.”
Federico said anyone with information regarding the incident should contact Norway Police at 743-5303.