Professor shoots at salesmen

June 13, 2014

Lee Robert Dale mugshot 6-6-14By Pat Maurer

A Central Michigan University professor was arrested last Sunday evening after he allegedly fired a shotgun at vacuum cleaner salesmen who came to his door.

Robert Dale Lee, 61, was arraigned in Isabella County Trial Court Monday for one count of carrying a firearm or dangerous weapon with unlawful intent and with one count of felony assault. He posted 10 percent of a $10,000 bond and was released from the Isabella County Jail.

According to a release from the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department, deputies were called to the Lee’s home around 6 p.m. June 5 in the 6000 block of South Vandecar Road in Fremont Township.

They reported that two of the salesmen had knocked on Lee’s door while a third remained in their van  and that he came to the door and gestured “one minute” by holding one finger up. Lee then walked towards the garage. The salespeople became suspicious they said, and decided to leave, getting into their van and driving down the driveway.

Lee reportedly came out from a pole barn that was next to the home with a “long gun.” The salesmen heard two shots and saw Lee pointing the gun at them as they drove away. One of the men reported hearing the pellets “whiz” by his open driver’s side window.

No injuries to the men or damage to the salesmen’s vehicle were reported. Investigating deputies discovered and confiscated a 20-gauge shotgun at Lee’s home. They said “alcohol is believed to be a factor in the incident.”

According to an article in Central Michigan Life, Lee teaches in the Human Environmental Studies department at CMU.  A notice from the HEV office was posted on his classroom door that said, “Dr. Lee’s FNS 370 [summer class] has been cancelled. The final exam is waived. Dr. Lee will be in contact with you.”

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