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Garbage Collector Shot; Mistaken For Dog

September 6, 1986

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ A trash collector was shot in the buttocks Friday by a sleepy resident who mistook him for a dog, authorities said.

David A. Merritt, 24, was treated at Edgefield Hospital for a bullet wound from a handgun following the shooting at the home of John E. Brooks, said Metro Homicide Sgt. Luther Summers.

″When he heard the trash man emptying trash he (Brooks) shot him and said he thought it was a dog,″ Summers said. ″He didn’t have his glasses on and couldn’t see that well.″

No charges were filed against Brooks. Summers said the bullet wound was not life-threatening but ″it could have been fatal.″

″I don’t know how you can mistake a 6-foot-tall man for an animal,″ said Clyde Felts of Clyde Felts Disposal Co., where Merritt is employed.

Felts said it will be up to Merritt to decide whether to file charges.

Merritt has been a trash collector in Brooks’ neighborhood since 1977.

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