Man charged with cutting down 150 trees in Missouri

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WASHINGTON, Mo. (KTVI) — A man accused of cutting down at least 150 trees along the Missouri River now faces charges.

Police said Perry Pecaut cut trees that were along a nature trail on public protected wetlands in Washington, Missouri. He is now charged with two felony counts of first-degree property damage and two misdemeanor trespassing charges.

Investigators said the man told them why he did it.

“A lot of the trees had overgrowth, vines, and things like that. He felt a lot of those trees were going to die anyway, so he went through there and cleared them out,” Washington Police Detective Sgt. Steve Sitzes said.

The trees were not on his property. Since 2007, residents have had to ask for permission to have a tree removed from public property located between their property and the river. If the city agreed, the homeowner would pay for the work.

Detectives said Pecaut said he didn’t know the rules.

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