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Dixon businessman's pickup truck shot after ramming riding lawnmower
DIXON, Mo. (May 5, 2010) — A man living south of Dixon faces felony charges after shooting almost a half-dozen bullets Thursday evening into a pickup truck driven by a prominent Dixon businessman who the shooter claimed was ramming his riding lawnmower to push it off the roadway.

Dale Edward Saunchegrow, 57, faces Class A felony charges of first-degree assault alleging that he shot into the occupied pickup truck being driven by the businessman and that “such conduct was a substantial step toward the commission of a crime of attempting to kill or cause serious physical injury” to the pickup driver.

The Class A felony charge of first-degree assault is what’s reported by Sheriff J.B. King in a follow-up press release. However, court documents filed by Prosecutor Deborah Hooper contain an apparent error referring to punishment for a Class B felony, which would carry a maximum penalty of 5 to 15 years in state prison. If the case actually involves a Class A felony, it carries a penalty of 10 to 30 years in state prison.

No charges have yet been filed by Hooper against the businessman, though according to a press release issued Monday morning by the sheriff, both Saunchegrow and the pickup driver were arrested following the 7 p.m. incident in the Dogpatch area south of town.

Saunchegrow posted bond; the pickup driver was released from a 24-hour custody hold “pending the filing of criminal charges at a later date,” according to the sheriff’s press release.

According to the probable cause statement filed in court records by sheriff’s deputies, Saunchegrow “stated that he was on his riding mower, saw (the businessman) on his private roadway, Cooper Drive, and blocked (the businessman’s) vehicle by turning his riding mower sideways in front of (the businessman’s) vehicle. (The businessman) then drove forward into Mr. Saunchegrow’s mower while Mr. Saunchegrow was still on it. (The businessman) then proceeded to push Mr. Saunchegrow and his lawnmower off to the side of the roadway. Mr. Saunchegrow further stated after being shoved by (the businessman’s) vehicle, he got off his mower and defended his self by firing 5 or 6 shots into (the businessman’s) truck, stopping it from further movement. When Mr. Saunchegrow emptied his weapon that he had on him at the time, he ran to his nearby garage and retrieved another weapon stating (the businessman) had a weapon with him.”

That’s not the only legal trouble faced by Saunchegrow. According to court records, he also faces two Class A misdemeanor charges accusing him of stalking one of the businessman’s relatives at her Dixon-area office two different times and violating a court order protecting her, once by “repeatedly driving by the office” on the day of the lawnmower-pickup incident, and again violating the order on Sunday after Saunchegrow bonded out of jail.

The businessman’s relative had previously sought an order of protection which was granted on April 16; according to a Dixon police report filed with the circuit court, the businessman’s relative has kept a log of Saunchegrow “driving by and around” the businessman’s office and also said that on Sunday morning, “Saunchegrow stopped his vehicle in the roadway, where there is not a stop sign, and sat and stared at her for several seconds after she got out of her car.” Those claims are corroborated in the police report with a third person who said he saw Saunchegrow drive by the office “four or five times in a short time span” on the day of the lawnmower-pickup incident, and also saw him drive by again on Sunday morning.

According to the sheriff, damage to the lawn mower and the pickup truck were consistent with the initial reports of the lawn mower being rammed and then pushed down the road. The pickup also had a number of bullet holes near the front of the truck.

Court records indicate that Saunchegrow has had trouble with the businessman’s family before and also with numerous other area businessmen; he’s also had numerous cases filed against him by state tax officials.

In 1995, a different member of the businessman’s family obtained a $756 judgment against Saunchegrow in small claims court. He also had a 1997 reciprocal full order of protection issued by the court against him for adult abuse without stalking, but online court records don’t indicate whether the victim 13 years ago had any connection to people involved in the current case.

While the businessman is a widely known public figure and his name has been publicized elsewhere, including in open meetings of the Dixon City Council, so far he’s had no charges filed against him and the charges that have been filed indicate he and a female relative are both crime victims.

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THIS ARTICLE: Dixon businessman's pickup truck shot after ramming riding lawnmower
Posted: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 9:52 pm

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