Wisconsin man charged with shooting bowling balls out of his cannon on the 4th of July

Duluth News Tribune – An errant bowling ball allegedly shot from a cannon has led to criminal charges against a western Wisconsin man.

One ball apparently was fired through the roof of a neighboring barn in the town of Richmond leading to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage, according to a criminal complaint filed this month against self-described firearms enthusiast Ricky A. Thorne, 65.

St. Croix County prosecutors charged the Spring Valley man with one count of felony second-degree recklessly endangering safety. He is also charged with misdemeanor negligent handling of a weapon.

According to a criminal complaint:

St. Croix County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched last July 5 to 1341 Highway 65 for damage to a building by an apparent bowling ball strike.

A resident said she discovered a large hole in the roof of her horse barn and found a bowling ball on the floor near a horse stall.

The resident said she suspected the ball had been fired from a cannon at a neighboring property the previous night during a July 4th party. The bowling ball was found scratched and smeared with what appeared to be grease.

The cannon shots were fired while her guests were sleeping in camper trailers outside her barn, the woman said, “and opined a bowling ball dropping on them probably would have resulted in their death,” a deputy wrote in the complaint.

The woman told the deputy she didn’t report the cannon fire as it happened because she didn’t realize the barn damage at the time and didn’t want to interfere with the neighbors’ Fourth of July celebration.

“Yo Ricky, you couldn’t shoot that cannon and hit the broadside of a barn!”

“Honey, go grab my bowling balls!”

Now that the barn joke is over with nice and early, let’s get to it. Now as I say in my “About” page, I’m an honorary Cheesehead. Cheese curds, Packers, oh sure. But it came to my great surprise to see that The Badger State is in the “shooting bowling balls out of cannons” game. Now I don’t know about any of you guys, but that is not how I celebrate the 4th of July. A few beers and fireworks on the beach is a great time – the air is cool, beer is cold, stars are shining, and the fireworks light up the ocean. It’s truly fantastic, highly recommended. But holy shit do I want to go to this guys parties. I mean who has a god damn functioning cannon just laying around in his backyard? Are those even legal to buy anymore? Did he break into the museum for the Texas Revolution and steal that cannon?

Is that a cannon in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Props to this neighbor though.If your neighbor is off setting off bowling ball cannons, then you just let him do it. No need to rain on his parade while he rains bowling balls down onto your barn. Clearly not in the right state of mind, so this could’ve gotten worse. So when Yosemite Sam is setting off cannons in his backyard, you just ignore it. Don’t be his Bugs Bunny.

But if you’re like me, you’re also wondering whether this Yosemite guy would go full Homer Simpson. If he’s drunk enough to shoot bowling balls into the air, he’s drunk enough to shoot them into his gut.


So next 4th of July, if you find yourself out in western Wisconsin, watch your head. There could be bowling balls falling from the sky.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s