Professional angler and Lake Guntersville fishing guide Ryan Salzman received a major scare last week following a guide trip. While he was on the water with two high school anglers, a fellow fishing guide, Donald Johnson, called Salzman to let him know someone had broken one of his truck windows at the Seibold Boat Ramp.
Thinking some gear had been stolen, Salzman returned to a much more alarming scene. His wrapped tow vehicle had been shot 11 times with either a 9mm or .40 handgun. He first thought the truck had been beaten with a hammer, but upon closer inspection, the damage was definitely caused by bullets. The damage also extended to the interior of his truck. The total bill is expected to exceed $10,000 and the insurance may not replace the $2,800 wrap.
Persons of interest
"There were a bunch of trailers at the boat ramp that day," Salzman said. "(Elite Series pro) Brandon Lester's rig was even there, so you know they weren't just shooting because I had a wrapped truck. They only targeted my vehicle."
The police are currently looking into a few persons of interest. They're also checking all of the cameras at Seibold Camp Ground. Those found responsible will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
This is the second act of vandalism to Salzman's truck in less than a month. Someone keyed his truck three weeks ago at the Waterfront boat ramp causing extensive damage.
"I keep to myself," Salzman said. "I have strong opinions about some things and I'm plainspoken. You either love me or hate me, to be honest."
While it's tough to find the positive out of a situation like this, Salzman is hoping this will press public officials to finally install surveillance cameras at many of the boat ramps surrounding Lake Guntersville.
If you have any information regarding this incident, call Marshall County Sheriff's Office at 256-582-2034.