By Eric Heinz
South Lake Tahoe Police arrested a man about 2:30 p.m. Monday after he fled from officers who found him skinning a dead raccoon near the corner of Modesto and Harrison Avenues.
According to SLTPD Lt. David Stevenson, 37-year-old Kevin Burroughs fled when police officers tried to talk with him. He ran across U.S. Highway 50 and headed east toward St. Theresa School and was eventually apprehended on the baseball fields, Stevenson said.
Police said he did not have a knife on him at the time he was apprehended.
At first the man would not talk, but police later discovered his identity. Police do not yet know where he is from, but Burroughs does have a parolee at-large warrant against him and is a sex offender who was not registered at the time of his arrest Stevenson said.
As of Tuesday, he was still in police custody.
Burroughs was charged with being a parolee at large, being a sex registrant on school grounds, failing to register as a sex registrant, resisting arrest and possession of a creature unlawfully taken.
The method in which Burroughs took the raccoon — whether it was already dead or killed by him — is undetermined, but is illegal to maim an animal in that method in California, according to the 2002 Fish and Game Code.
Helayna Pera, California Department of Fish and Wildlife wildlife biologist region 2 office, said the law, under 2002 Fish and Game Code, is to keep people from taking animals by methods such as running them over with a vehicle for hunting purposes.
“I think the No. 1 reason is that it’s not a legal method of take,” Pera said. “You hunt and you’re going to use bow and arrow and the appropriate method of take on that. The method along that line is not a legal method of take. If you allowed people to pick up road kill, they would drive around and try to get it.”
But for educational purposes, the CDFW does have an outlet that allows people to possess already dead animals.
“No one, even a holder of a Scientific Collecting Permit (SCP), can pick up road kills, native bird feathers, or collect owl pellets or other animal parts without a SCP (authorizing) the salvage of dead amphibians, reptiles, birds, and/or mammals,” the CDFW website stated.
Some states allow people to possess dead animals, but California does not.
“We can take (the animal) to a taxidermist, but besides having a proper permit, nope, it is illegal,” Pera said.
Pera said it is primarily dangerous to pick up dead animals for sustenance because people do not know how long the animal has been decomposing, which can lead to illness.
“Get a hunting license, if you really want to be organic; harvest your meat that way,” Pera said.