Traverse City Record-Eagle

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February 10, 2013

Ice angler hooks fisherman

TRAVERSE CITY — A Lake Skegemog ice angler faces criminal charges for hooking a big one — namely, a fellow fisherman whom she smacked in the face with a fishing pole during an argument.

Authorities intend to snag Lese Marie Denney, 19, of Williamsburg, on misdemeanor charges of attempted assault with a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault.

Police reports stated Denney argued with a fellow fisherman, a man, 20, then slapped him across the head with her fishing rod.

"He was hooked in the face, in the cheek with the hook," said Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Robert Cooney.

Denney could not be reached for comment. Denney told Grand Traverse County sheriff's deputies she thought the victim assaulted another woman before she cast her anger at him.

"She stated that while she was in the shanty, she took her fishing pole and hit (the victim) across the face with her fishing pole," police reports state. "She stated that she did not mean to hit him with the hook."

"Denney was adamant that she was acting out of a defense-type attitude," police wrote.

Police reports indicate Denney was one of five people fishing on Lake Skegemog on Jan. 13 at 4 p.m. The victim told police he and his girlfriend were goofing around in an ice shanty when he grabbed his girlfriend's shoulders "playfully, asking her where his pop was."

"(The victim) stated that this is when Denney flipped out," a deputy's report stated.

The victim said Denney yelled at him and told him to get out of the ice shanty. The victim left and began to pack his gear into his sled "when Denney exited the shanty and "continued to holler at him."

Words were exchanged. Denney threw the man's belongings out of the sled, and as the man retrieved the items, she set upon him with her rod.

"Once he had bent down to place an item in his sled, he was struck across the face," reports state. "When he looked up, Denney had a fishing pole in her hand. That is when he had been struck by the fishing pole."

The victim touched his left cheek and came up with blood.

"He then realized that there was a fishing hook sticking in his left cheek," reports stated.

The man removed the hook and declined medical treatment.

Denney told police she thought she'd just witnessed a domestic assault and "reacted."

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