READINGTON — The man who admitted accidentally shooting a dog that he mistook for a coyote has formally apologized to its family.

Romeo Antonucci, of Kenilworth, sent a letter of apology to Elizabeth Middlemark Mongno.

Antonucci's lawyer, Mitchell Ansell, would not disclose the content of the letter.

The father of two was charged with careless discharge of a weapon and damage to property on Wednesday, Sept. 20 after shooting an arrow at a 1-1/2-year-old Alaskan shepherd named Tonka.

Ansell said that Antonucci called 911 after realizing he had shot a dog and was instructed to return to his truck by the dispatcher and wait for police to arrive.

"There was some reports that intimated my client fled the scene. Nothing could be farther from the truth. My client called the authorities and followed their instructions." Ansell said.

Readington police found Antonucci parked near the property of the home he had permission to hunt on, according to Ansell.

"This has been and continues to be a very difficult time for our family," Mongno said Thursday. "We are hoping to see the current law reviewed and appropriate changes made to address the safety for all property owners to ensure another family does not have to suffer the way our family has."

Antonucci is scheduled to appear in Readington Municipal Court on Nov. 2. He faces a seven-year loss of his hunters license and $3,000 in fines and restitution.

"My client does plan on taking responsibility for what he did," Ansell said, calling it a "tragic accident."

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