Bailey Indicted in Alleged Bearbaiting Case

POMEROY, Ohio – A Meigs County man has been indicted on multiple charges in relation to an alleged bearbaiting case.

Clinton Bailey, 50, Racine, Ohio has been indicted on 16 charges related to an investigation by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). The Ohio Department of Agriculture had been working on the case for some time, conducting the investigation into alleged bear bating activity at Bailey’s residence. While local law enforcement and other agencies including the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office were called in to give support, the investigation was initiated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The ODA handles Dangerous Wild Animal (DWA) permits such as the one Bailey had for his bear.

The department considered the allegations as being “very serious” according to Mark Bruce, Communications Director with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Bruce said they received information about concerns with the bear at Bailey’s residence and the department began looking into it. Bruce said that Bailey did have a DWA permit for the bear, however, some of the charges include not following the guidelines of that permit.

Bruce said some of the charges involve the actual enclosure for the bear. Bruce said part of the alleged issues are from allowing the public contact with the bear. According to Bruce animals with the designation dangerous wild animals, the public is not supposed to have any contact with such animals. A minor having contact with a dangerous wild animal is a separate charge.

Bailey has been vocal that he is innocent of any wrongdoing, and that the activity happening at his property was not bearbaiting. He has stated in numerous social media postings the family loves the bear they call Cinny. While the family maintains the bear is more like one of the family, the designation is still that the bear requires the DWA permit and adherence to the guidelines associated with it. The Meigs Independent Press has repeatedly offered to interview Bailey, but to date he has declined the offer.

The ODA Enforcement Division along with the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Highway Patrol, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drone Team, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. According to a press release, at the time of the warrant execution on Nov. 11, 2017, the drone team had supposedly “obtained significant video footage of illegal activity.”

Bruce said from the ODA’s perspective they are concerned with animal health and any allegations of using the animal for fighting purposes. He repeatedly stressed the seriousness of the allegations. “No animal should be put in the situation like this one,” Bruce said.

At the time of the search warrant execution, the ODA seized the bear. The bear was examined by one of their veterinarians. According to Bruce, the bear was transported to an appropriate facility and is being cared for properly. He did not disclose the location where the animal is presently being kept. Since the seizure of the bear, Bailey has questioned the condition and care of the bear on social media. Bruce affirmed the bear was being cared for appropriately.

Bailey was indicted on the charges Jan. 12, 2018 by a Meigs County Grand Jury. At first glance it would appear Bailey has been charged repeatedly with the same charge, but that is not the case. The charges are from the same section of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), but they are different parts of the same section. Bailey is charged with 16 counts as follows:

Count 1
Related to an alleged incident on Nov. 11, 2017, one count of Animal Fighting, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, Section 959.15(A)(1) of the ORC, “did knowingly, engage in cockfighting, bearbaiting, or pitting an animal against another.”

Count 2
Related to an alleged incident on Nov. 11, 2017, one count of Animal Fighting, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, Section 959.15(A)(2) of the ORC, “did knowingly, use, train, or possess any animal for seizing, detaining or maltreating a domestic animal.”

Count 3
Related to an alleged incident on Nov. 11, 2017, one count of Animal Fighting, an unclassified felony, Section 959.15(B)(2)(c) of the ORC, “regarding an event involving cockfighting, bearbaiting, or pitting an animal against another, knowingly, receive money or anything else of value in exchange for the admission of another person to the event of for another person to be present at the event.”

Count 4
Related to an alleged incident on Nov. 11, 2017, one count of Animal Fighting, an unclassified felony, Section 959.15(B)(2)(e) of the ORC, “regarding an event involving cockfighting, bearbaiting, or pitting an animal against another, knowingly, permit or cause a minor to be present at the event if any person present at or involved with the event is conducting any of the activities described.”

Count 5
Related to an alleged incident on Nov. 11, 2017, one count of Animal Fighting, an unclassified felony, Section 959.15(c) of the ORC, “knowingly, witness cockfighting, bearbaiting, or an event in which one animal is pitted against another when a violation of division (B) of the section is occurring at the cockfighting, bearbaiting, or event is an aide and abettor and has committed a violation of this division.”

Count 6
Related to an alleged incident on Dec. 16, 2016, one count of Falsification, a misdemeanor of the first degree, Section 2921.13(A)(3) of the ORC, “knowingly make a false statement, or knowingly swear or affirm the truth of a false statement previously made, and said statement is made with purpose to mislead a public official in performing the public official’s official function.”

Count 7
Related to an alleged incident on Dec. 22, 2015, one count of Falsification, a misdemeanor of the first degree, Section 2921.13(A)(3) of the ORC, “knowingly make a false statement, or knowingly swear or affirm the truth of a false statement previously made, and said statement is made with purpose to mislead a public official in performing the public official’s official function.”

Count 8
Related to an alleged incident on Nov. 11, 2017, one count of Dangerous Wild Animal Prohibitions, a misdemeanor of the first degree, Section 935.18(G) of the ORC, “did, recklessly violate any provision of of Chapter 935, titled Possession of Wild Animals and Snakes, or an other rule, by failing to house and keep in double containment, consisting of a primary and a secondary enclosure as specified by this Chapter for the species being kept, to-wit: the was in a different (non-approved) enclosure from previous inspections, and the bear was not contained in an enclosure that meets the definition of a primary enclosure for a bear, nor was a secondary enclosure present.”

Count 9
Related to an alleged incident on Nov. 11, 2017, one count of Dangerous Wild Animal Prohibitions, a misdemeanor of the first degree, Section 935.18(G) of the ORC, “did, recklessly violate any provision of Chapter 935, titled Possession of Wild Animals and Snakes, or any other rule, by failing to maintain a secondary enclosure a minimum of eight feet in height, a minimum of eight feet from the nearest primary enclosure, and without any wall in common with any primary enclosure.”

Count 10
Related to an alleged incident on Nov. 11, 2017, one count of Dangerous Wild Animal Prohibitions, a misdemeanor of the first degree, Section 935.18(G) of the ORC, “did, recklessly violate any provision of Chapter 935, titled Possession of Wild Animals and Snakes, or any other rule, by failing to maintain a primary enclosure that is sufficiently strong to prevent escape; that if roofed, the roof must be attached to and be of the same or equivalent strength as the sides of the primary enclosure; that protects the contained animal from injury; that provides the species appropriate substrate fo rate health and well-being of the animal; that is equipped with a safety entrance; that has at least one elevated platform or bedding material for resting to accommodate all animals in the enclosure simultaneously; that provides a quiet birthing area as necessary and appropriate to the species; that is of a size and complexity to provide for the animal’s physical welfare and behavioral and social enrichment; that includes a shelter; and that includes a dig barrier unless the floor of the primary enclosure is concrete, bedrock, or another impervious material appropriate for the animal contained.”

Count 11
Related to an alleged incident on Nov. 11, 2017, one count of Dangerous Wild Animal Prohibitions, a misdemeanor of the first degree, Section 935.18(G) of the ORC, “did recklessly violate any provision of Chapter 935, titled Possession of Wild Animals and Snakes, or any other rule, by failing to maintain a primary enclosure constructed of at least six gauge diameter chain link or its equivalent.”

Count 12
Related to an alleged incident on Nov. 11, 2017, one count of Dangerous Wild Animal Prohibitions, a misdemeanor of the first degree, Section 935.18(G) of the ORC, “did, recklessly violate any provision of Chapter 935, titled Possession of Wild Animals and Snakes, or any other rule, by failing to maintain the frame of the primary enclosure constructed using at least three inch diameter steel vertical posts or equivalent material, two inch diameter steel or equivalent material for cross bracing, door frames, and top and bottom rails.”

Count 13
Related to an alleged incident on Nov. 11, 2017, one count of Dangerous Animal Prohibitions, a misdemeanor of the first degree, 935.18(G) of the ORC, “by failing to maintain, for one animal a primary enclosure of a minimum of four hundred square feet, eight feet high with a roof, or twelve feet high with a cantilever.”

Count 14
Related to an alleged incident on Nov. 11, 2017, one count of Dangerous Animal Prohibitions, a misdemeanor of the first degree, Section 935.18(G) of the ORC, “failing to maintain at each normal entrance onto property on which any dangerous wild animal is confined, a continuously posted and displayed conspicuous sign, clearly visible, and easily readable by the public, warning that there is a dangerous wild animal on the premises stating ‘Warning: Dangerous Wild Animal on Premises.’”

Count 15
Related to an alleged incident on Nov. 11, 2017, one count of Dangerous Animal Prohibitions, a misdemeanor of the first degree, Section 935.18(G) of the ORC, “by failing to house separately aggressive or incompatible animals.”

Count 16
Related to an alleged incident on Nov. 11, 2017, one count of Dangerous Wild Animal Prohibitions, a misdemeanor of the first degree, Section 935.18(G) of the ORC, “by failing to maintain on each primary enclosure a shift cage sized appropriate to the number, size, and compatibility of the animals.”

An indictment is one step in the legal process as a case moves through the courts. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.