KIDDER, Mo. – A 62-year-old Missouri man is facing multiple charges and could face federal charges following an incident involving an airplane being shot at on July 10, 2022.
The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office reports Donald V. Bates Jr., of Kidder, Missouri was taken into custody following a search warrant.
Bates is currently being held at the Caldwell County jail on charges of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, armed criminal action, unlawful use of a weapon, and first-degree property damage.
According to court records, on July 10, in an attempt to frighten the pilot of a crop duster flying near his home, Bates admitted he walked outside of his home where the crop duster pilot could see him while he was piloting his aircraft.
Bates stated he raised both of his arms wide open while raising his middle finger toward the pilot. Bates also admitted he had a 12 gauge shotgun, visible in his right hand while confronting the pilot.
According to Bates, he believed the pilot was flying too low near his property and he just wanted him to stop. Bates claims he never aimed the shotgun toward the pilot and never had his finger on the trigger.
The pilot of the crop duster stated he had made a few rows through the field he was spraying when he observed Bates standing in front of his house with a gun in his right hand.
The pilot states he could see Bates on the right side of him as he flew overhead at 100 feet off the ground and states after seeing Bates with the gun he decided to go to a different farm a few miles away to avoid further conflict and was in fear of his life not knowing if Bates would shoot at him.
Court documents say the pilot flew the plane back to Lexington, Missouri Municipal Airport, about 30 miles away, and stated once he landed his plane and following an inspection, found fuel leaking from the right wing through a bullet hole in the fuel tank on the underside of the right wing. The pilot then found another bullet hole in the nose cone.
The damage to the airplane is estimated at $12,000 with $25,000 in lost wages for being unable to fly due to the damage.
One witness stated he heard approximately 10-15 gunshots at the time of the incident.
The FBI is continuing a federal investigation into the incident and federal charges may be coming.
No bond has been set for Bates at this time.