New Jersey state police seem to be contradicting CNN Host Lou Dobbs' account of a gunfire incident near his Sussex County, New Jersey, house.
On Monday on his radio show, Dobbs stated that "my wife has now been and I have been shot at." The alleged incident, which Dobbs had reported to the New Jersey State Police, took place three weeks prior to the October 26 broadcast of the Lou Dobbs Show, and Dobbs told his listeners that it had "followed weeks and weeks of threatening phone calls." Dobbs' discussion of the incident during his radio show also included mention of both longtime critic and FOX host Geraldo Rivera and the immigrant advocacy organizations calling for his removal from CNN including the National Council of La Raza, America's Voice and other "ethnocentric interest groups."
Without specifying who he suspects of making the alleged threats, he also said on his radio show that "They've threatened my wife, they've now fired a shot at my house while my wife was standing next to the car." Concluding with a call for "truth, justice and the American way," Dobbs cautioned "if anybody thinks that we're not engaged in the battle for the soul of this country right now, you're sorely mistaken." And during an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Thursday, Dobbs spoke again about the gunfire incident, linking it to "threatening phone calls tied to the positions I've taken on illegal immigration."
Interviews with the New Jersey State Police yielded a rather different assessment of the events described by Dobbs. In a phone interview conducted yesterday, Sgt. Stephen Jones, a NJ State Police spokesperson, chuckled out loud after he heard about Dobbs' account of the gunfire incident. Jones commented that he "wouldn't classify it [the gunfire incident] as very unusual." He also confirmed that there are hunters in the area, and stated that, "at this time of year hunter [shooting] complaints go up."
He observed that in the ongoing police investigation sparked by Dobbs' complaint, "nothing has been determined [regarding] what the intended target for this bullet was." Nor did Jones confirm whether the shots near Dobbs' house appeared to be an accident or intentional.
Another New Jersey State Police spokesperson, Sgt. Julian Castellanos, noted that "it's a wide open area and there are hunters in the area." Castellanos explained that the bullet had hit the house in vicinity of the attic; it "hit the vinyl siding and fell to the ground" without penetrating the vinyl, he said.
While Lou Dobbs' wife, Debi Lee Segura, was standing outside the house at the time of the gunfire, the bullet did not come close to her; it "struck at the apex of the house, near the roof," and thus considerably higher than a standing person, Jones observed.
Jones says he had not seen any mention of death threats in the reports about this incident. As Dobbs stated on his October 26 radio show, the CNN host had "decided not to report" "threatening phone calls" he says he has received.
The New Jersey police made no mention of the immigration reform groups Dobbs discussed in connection with the incident.
When asked to comment for this story, Dobbs disputed the New Jersey State Police's account, saying in an email that "there was no hunting season underway three weeks ago." However, an official at the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife Bureau of Law Enforcement confirmed in a phone interview that state hunting seasons were underway at the time of the gunfire incident three weeks ago.
Asked what he thought of Dobbs' version of the gunfire incident, Sgt. Jones stated, "I'm really going to leave Lou Dobbs' assessment to himself."