Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18840
Classification: Beating
Animal: raccoon
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Abuse was retaliation against animal's bad behavior
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Monday, Nov 7, 2011

County: Boulder

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Alleged

Alleged:
» Nicholas Philip Foti
» Lucas B. Holton - Convicted
» August Quinn Noble - Convicted

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

Boulder police arrested three 19-year-old men Wednesday after they admitted to officers they killed a raccoon with a baseball bat and a machete.

Nicholas Philip Foti, Lucas Holton and August Quinn Noble each could face felony aggravated cruelty to animal charges after several witnesses told police they saw them beating a raccoon at their residence in the 1000 block of 11th Street on Nov. 7.

The three all admitted to hitting the raccoons with a baseball bat and a machete, according to Kim Kobel, a spokeswoman for the Boulder Police Department.

Foti told police he saw the raccoon going through his trash and hit the animal. He said he had hit it harder than he meant to and tried to "put down" the raccoon when he realized he'd seriously injured it.

Several witnesses said there may have been two other men involved.

A necropsy performed by a Colorado State University veterinarian determined the raccoon died of blunt-force trauma to the head.

"If you flagrantly beat an animal to death, that is against the law," Kobel said.

All three suspects remained in the Boulder County Jail on Wednesday night. Bond has been set at $2,500 for Foti and Holton. Bond has not yet been set for Noble.

Kobel said Foti and Noble are University of Colorado students, while Holton is a student at Front Range Community College. CU's student directory lists Foti as a sophomore open-option student and Noble as a freshman in the business school.


Case Updates

Another one of the three men accused of beating a raccoon to death with a baseball bat and machete on University Hill in November has accepted a plea deal.

Lucas Holton, 19, pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor cruelty to animals Friday. He was sentenced to one year of probation and community service as part of his plea bargain.

Witnesses said Holton, along with Nicholas Foti, 20, and August Quinn Noble, 19, beat a raccoon to death in the 1000 block of 11th Street on Nov. 7, 2011.

Foti told police he hit the animal with a baseball bat to scare it, then decided to "put it out of its misery" when he saw that it was seriously injured, according to a police report. However, witnesses said the men were yelling "Get it!" in excited tones.

All three were initially charged with aggravated animal cruelty, a felony.

Noble pleaded guilty in February to one count of false reporting and received a 12-month deferred sentence. A second count of aggravated animal cruelty was dismissed.

Foti is scheduled for an arraignment on Monday.
Source: dailycamera.com - Apr 6, 2012
Update posted on Apr 6, 2012 - 6:49PM 
Witnesses who saw a group of men beating a raccoon to death on University Hill last week -- with a baseball bat, machete and hockey stick -- expressed skepticism about their claims that they were "putting it out of its misery," according to a police report.

And, according to the report, one of the suspects later acknowledged to police that the group was "pumped up" and "excited" about killing the raccoon, which regularly visited their trash cans.

Nicholas Philip Foti, Lucas Holton and August Quinn Noble, all 19, were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of felony aggravated animal cruelty after several neighbors told police they had beaten a raccoon at their residence in the 1000 block of 11th Street.

According to the report, the neighbors who called were visibly upset, with one of them, Allegra Brewer, telling police it was "the most barbaric thing she had ever witnessed."

The incident happened around 6 p.m. Nov. 7.

No one answered the door Thursday at the University Hill home where the suspects live together. Foti did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Foti and Noble are listed as students on the University of Colorado website. Holton told police he attends Front Range Community College.

According to police, Foti told officers he hit the raccoon with a baseball bat to scare it because it was going through his trash. When he realized he had hit it harder than he meant to, he decided to "put down" the animal.

Holton told police he heard noise outside and saw the raccoon squirming after Foti hit it, and Holton used his machete to "put it out of its misery." In a later interview, Holton told police the men also were "excited about it."

Another roommate told police he "got scared and ran around the east side of the house," the report said. "He said he knows that raccoons are 'vicious' and didn't know what it might do."

Noble initially told police he never hit the raccoon, but after he was identified by witnesses, he told police he hit it with a hockey stick as it ran past him.

According to the report, police took the bat -- a Louisville Slugger -- and the machete as evidence. Foti then repeated that he killed the raccoon to be humane.

"Yeah, it's not like we were trying to brutally murder it," Holton told police.

"Well, it was kind of brutal," Foti said, according to the report. "I'll give you that."

When told that the suspects claimed they were putting the raccoon out of its misery, the neighbors who saw it said it didn't look that way to them.

"They were goofing off, having a good time," Carly Friedman, who witnessed the incident, told police. She said the men were laughing and saying "Get it!"

Brewer, another witness, said the men looked like they were having fun.

"They were proud of what they were doing, saying 'Yeah, go get it!'" Brewer said, according to the report.

A necropsy performed at Colorado State University found the raccoon died of blunt-force trauma, according to police.

Under Colorado law, someone commits aggravated animal cruelty when he or she "knowingly tortures, needlessly mutilates, or needlessly kills an animal."

A hearing for filing of charges against Noble is scheduled for Tuesday. Foti and Holton are scheduled to be charged Dec. 2.

"Animal cruelty cases are a priority for this office," said District Attorney Stan Garnett, who has assigned a prosecutor to specialize in such cases. "We haven't charged this case yet because we haven't closely reviewed the facts yet."
Source: dailycamera.com - Nov 17, 2011
Update posted on Nov 18, 2011 - 10:07AM 

References

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