CUMMING — A west Forsyth man is expressing regret after his recent arrest for leaving two beaver carcasses outside of a Cumming business with which he had a dispute.
Chad Matthew Artimovich called his actions on Aug. 23 “stupid,” but said his family had been harassed by a title lending company over a debt.
“I admit that I had done that,” Artimovich said Wednesday. “TitleMax was harassing my parents and anybody that was on that contract … they were calling me three or four times a day.
“I was dealing with divorce, [post-traumatic stress disorder] from [serving in] two wars and it just built up. I just went there.”
Contacted Wednesday, employees at the TitleMax declined to comment on the matter. In a Cumming police report, they said they call or text anyone who is late repaying the business money between one and three times a day.
Artimovich, who served 16 years in the U.S. Marines, said he hoped to resolve the matter before a Magistrate Judge at an upcoming court date. He also noted that he had apologized to the employees and “cleaned up the remnants of it.”
The incident happened about 11:30 a.m. Aug. 23 at the TitleMax on Atlanta Road (Hwy. 9). After seeing Artimovich drop off the beavers, an employee called police.
In his report, the officer noted that the carcasses had started to decompose in the parking lot when he arrived. The remains, combined with the day’s 90-degree temperature and rain made an “unbearable” odor.
“The smell put off by the decomposing beavers was so atrocious, my patrol car only came within five to 10 feet of the beavers for less than a minute, and you could still smell it inside my patrol car hours after clearing the call,” the officer wrote.
When Artimovich came in to talk to police, he was arrested for illegal dumping/egregious litter and later released after posting a $605 bond, according to Forsyth County Detention Center records.
Given that beavers aren’t an everyday issue, the police report noted that the officer had contacted the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. A DNR ranger said Wednesday they were still waiting to receive a copy of the police report.
According to information from the DNR, however, beavers can be considered a pest and it’s legal to hunt or trap them year round in Georgia.
“They certainly have a place in the environment, but they can cause a lot of damage depending on the kind of property you have,” said Melissa Cummings, a spokeswoman for the DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division.
“A lot of times you have a homeowner who has them on their property, and it may be people down the way that get the damage because of beavers building on their properties, flooding, so on and so forth. So it can create issues for more than the person who’s area that they’re in.”
According to the police report, Artimovich is president of Atlanta Wildlife Solutions, a pest control company.
“I had trapped two beavers over the winter, and I had them in my freezer,” he said Wednesday. “… I dumped the carcasses down there in broad daylight, and I wasn’t really concerned, I was just mad.”