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WI man fires bowling ball from cannon, hits barn

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Posted at 11:58 AM, Feb 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-27 12:58:03-05

SPRING VALLEY, Wis. -- A 65-year-old Wisconsin man has been charged with two crimes after he was accused by a neighbor of damaging a barn with a bowling ball fired from a cannon.

Ricky A. Thorne has been charged with second degree recklessly endangering safety, as well as negligent handling of a weapon.

According to the criminal complaint, an officer was called to a Spring Valley farm on the 5th of July when the farm's owner noticed the roof of her barn had been damaged by a bowling ball falling through it.

The owner said she heard what she believed was cannon fire coming from the south of her farm the night before, but hadn't called police at the time since "she did not want to interfere with the neighbors celebrating Independence Day."

The suspect's sister confirmed to police, according to the complaint, that Thorne had fired about 10 bowling balls from the cannon between 4:00 and 7:30 p.m on the 4th. They also fired several bowling pins from the cannon.

She claimed Thorne told her "[the projectiles] would land on her property and due to their trajectory would bury themselves into the ground so deep that no one would be able to find them."

The farm's owner also later found a dead horse on her land with a head wound, but police were unable to connect this to the fired bowling balls and pins.

If convicted, Thorne faces a maximum sentence of nearly 11 years in prison.