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Bassmaster Classic Shooter Arrested


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Suspect in Classic shooting incident arrested
Associated Press — Aug. 14

BELLE CHASSE, La. — A man accused of shooting at the second-place finisher at the CITGO Bassmaster Classic tournament was arrested on Thursday, authorities said.

Dale J. Silbergnagel, 45, of Venice, La., was accused of shooting at Gary Klein on Aug. 3.

Klein told authorities on the final afternoon of the three-day tourney that a shirtless man fired what looked like a shotgun at his boat as he passed about 60 or 70 yards from a dock near the Camp Canal in Venice.

Silbergnagel was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and illegal discharge of a firearm, said Maj. John Marie, a spokesman for the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office.

Silbergnagel was arrested at a downtown motel. Silbergnagel was taking classes to get a captain's license, Marie said.

"It's an isolated incident," Klein, 45, of Weatherford, Texas, told reporters on the day of the shooting. "It's the first time in my career that I've ever had that happen, and I have never heard of anyone else ever having that happen."

Plaquemines officials have speculated that Silbergnagel shot over Klein's boat after the pro angler opened up the engine on his boat and sped off down the canal.

Many camp owners get upset at boaters who go too fast and create wakes.

"I'm sure he will claim it was a warning shot," said Sheriff I.F. "Jiff" Hingle about Silbergnagel. "We don't want people to take the law into their hands. We wouldn't expect a citizen in a subdivision to shoot at someone speeding down their street."

He said that if people are upset at boats speeding they need to report the boats to authorities. Officials said the stretch of canal where the alleged shooting occurred was not a no-wake zone.

Klein, who was fishing his 21st Bassmaster Classic, has said he would press charges. "He needs to be taken care of," Klein said Aug. 3.

An ESPN cameraman was with Klein and filmed the suspect on a return trip.

In the video tapes, which were released to the public on Thursday, Silbergnagel is seen waving Klein past his camp after the pro angler slowed down, Marie said.

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In the MN Pro~Am Bass tour 2001, Tod Hesse was shot at on Leech Lake. He could have made a much better story of it though. On stage he said "I looked at my am and said 'we better get out of here huh'". It was kinda funny because he downplayed it so much. If I was bein shot at on the lake I would not have joked about it like it was nothing.

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