An Expedition Wind Farm opponent was arrested Thursday after surveyors staking property in preparation for wind farm construction were reportedly greeted with gunshots.
Amy D. Stutzman, 46, Peabody, was jailed at 3:23 p.m. Thursday afternoon on suspicion of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. She was released from jail on $50,000 surety bond shortly before 10 p.m.
Undersheriff Dave Huntley said Stutzman was yelling at surveyors for Westwood Professional Services and approaching the surveyors while shooting at the ground in their direction.
“When they were within about 50 feet of each other, the surveyors got in the truck and got out of there,” Huntley said.
Huntley said Stutzman was arrested without incident, but said she claimed her gunshots were “target practice.”
Jesse Hopkins-Hoel, vice president of development for Expedition Wind, said the incident happened within county right of way at 110th and Pawnee Rds. as surveyors were working adjacent to Stutzman’s property.
Hopkins-Hoel said the surveying company had not withdrawn from the job but had recalled members of the team Stutzman allegedly confronted.
“The safety of the Expedition team, agents, and crews, and the safety of the general public are always our top priorities,” said Patrick Pelstring, CEO for National Renewable Solutions, the company developing Expedition Wind. “We had announced our intention to proceed with this work, and the three surveyors involved were acting well within their rights, staying 100% in the public right-of-way. They conducted themselves with top-notch professionalism, despite this extremely dangerous situation. We’re thankful no one was injured and we believe and are hopeful this will be an isolated incident. Expedition Wind will continue to be rigorous in our protection of our field crews and our project.”
Stutzman, who has been a passionate opponent of the wind farm since early this year, is one of multiple plaintiffs in lawsuits filed against the planning and zoning commission, county commission, and the wind farm company.
The lead plaintiff in those lawsuits is rural Peabody farmer Randy Eitzen.
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