Hunter accused of killing upright walking bear ‘Pedals’ sues 6 people
A hunter who says he was falsely accused of killing 'Pedals' the bipedal bear has sued six social media posters.
John DeFilippo's attorney filed the suit Tuesday. It seeks undisclosed compensatory and punitive damages for defamation and invasion of privacy.
The suit stems from the apparent death of Pedals the bipedal bear during the first part of this year's state bear hunt. The animal walked upright on its hind legs because of an injury. It was seen strolling around northern New Jersey neighborhoods in videos posted on social media and shown on national television.
DeFilippo's attorney will not confirm if his client participated in October's hunt, but says that DeFilippo did not kill Pedals.
State wildlife officials believe Pedals was killed during the hunt, but can't confirm that because Pedals was never tagged.
In addition to the six named Facebook users, another 10 yet-to-be identified commenters are expected to face legal action.
The second stage of the bear hunt began Monday. So far 620 bears have been killed between the two stages of the hunt.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.