Shots Fired at Farmer Jay, Allegedly by Landlord
Farming is not considered to be the safest career field. Exposure to chemicals, snake bites, wasp stings, and heat exhaustion are all potential dangers of the job.
Getting shot at, however, is not. Usually.
Jason 'Farmer Jay' McCobb claims his landlord fired shots at him while he was feeding his chickens and pig, Pearl.
We spoke to McCobb about the incident and the events that led up to the shooting.
On Friday, McCobb says he received an email from the landlord -- whom he will not disclose for fears of possible legal ramifications -- ordering him off the property immediately. According to McCobb, if she caught him on the property again, she would have him arrested for trespassing.
McCobb had 50 chickens and one very large adult pig on the farm. He replied to the landlord letting her know that it was not possible to vacate immediately. McCobb was waiting to receive a part for his electric fence from the manufacturer; without it, he would have no way to protect the chickens from predators or to keep Pearl from barreling out. He let her know it would take five days to remove them from the farm.
On Saturday, McCobb says he went to the farm to feed his animals. When he arrived on the property, he spotted the woman's truck, but drove past opting to take care of his flock.
"I was moving some stuff around and she started firing shots with, like, a semi-automatic Glock or something and then came over yelled over, 'you're trespassing' ," says McCobb. "I ducked behind the coup for shelter. When she stopped, I came out from behind my truck with my hands up."
When he emerged, he says the woman demanded he leave or she would shoot.
McCobb jumped in his truck, called the cops, and evacuated at once. He waited down the street for the cops to arrive. The landlord had also placed a call to the police.
Once the cops showed up, McCobb gave them his side of the story. They went down to the property and - according to McCobb - arrested her and took her to jail.
McCobb later found that his truck had been hit. The animals have since been relocated to another farm.
While McCobb had been farming on the plot for about a year, tensions started heating up about three weeks ago after McCobb brought a group of kids from the Delray Achievement Center for Children & Families, a nonprofit for underprivileged children.
"When I moved onto the farm I told her I brought in groups of kids," said McCobb. "She had no problem with it. She saw me with the kids from Delray Achievement Center and said it was too much of a liability. I told her I had their parents sign a liability form before taking them out here, but she wasn't okay with it anymore."
According to McCobb, the landlord had someone else contact him to let him know she no longer wanted him to occupy the land. He says he's been leaving voicemails and text messages asking for more time. Last week, it apparently finally came to head with the gunshots.
"She felt she was within her rights to shoot at me and my truck," says McCobb. "At the time, I was cool and calm, but the more I think about it, it festers. Luckily, I didn't have my daughter in the car or my dog Drake. Someone was looking out for me."
Currently, we are waiting for a copy of the police report and will update when we know more.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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