Case Snapshot
Case ID: 4120
Classification: Throwing
Animal: rabbit (pet)
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Tuesday, Mar 15, 2005

County: Alameda

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: 13 year old boy

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

Asia Grey's back yard full of round, furry bunnies was a regular source of distraction for a neighbor boy who she said killed two of them. Police said the boy was cited and must appear in court to face a felony animal abuse charge.

Grey said the 13-year-old foster child, who has lived with a family in an adjacent house since he was 5, showed no remorse when she spotted him in her yard holding clumps of the clay and tar she claims he used to stone the rabbits to death.

Grey said it wasn't the first time the boy had stalked the 13 rabbits and two guinea pigs she considers family pets, all of them spayed or neutered and trained to use litter boxes inside the house.

One-inch nails and broken glass - which Grey said the boy used to pelt the rabbits from over the fence - littered her large, muddy yard.

The boy had been told to stay out of the yard a few years ago, not long after Grey and her family moved into the house on 58th Avenue in North Oakland, she said.

Grey said she would see him in the yard chasing the rabbits and told him to stay out.

But high winds the day before the attack blew down a portion of the wooden fence separating the two yards.

Grey lives on a double lotlined with open rabbit cages and pens for the free-roaming bunnies.

Grey said she noticed the boy in her yard that Tuesday afternoon from her son's bedroom window.

"My initial reaction was he was throwing them," she said.

When she ran outside, she found two of her pets - Irving and Benito - dead under her back stairs. A third rabbit, Fiona, was injured.

Grey said the bunnies were friendly and social and were probably injured before they knew enough to run away from the attacks.

The boy only looked over his shoulder at her with a "totally bored, glossy" expression and walked away, while she broke down crying, Grey said.

"He didn't seem like he cared."

Irving, 7, a pink-eyed, 15-pound white New Zealand rabbit, was the patriarch of the bunch, said Grey, who rescued the "gentle giant" from an Alameda animal shelter three years ago. Benito, 8, another rescue, was enjoying his senior years with the warren.

"He was taken in and loved," said Grey, a member of the rescue group House Rabbit Society. She acknowledged her husband doesn't quite share her love of bunnies but has learned to live with it. Her son and daughter loved the rabbits and are devastated by their deaths, she said.

The boy's foster grandfather offered Grey money for the rabbits on the spot, she said. But she rejected the offer, instead getting a police restraining order prohibiting the boy from his own back yard while he awaits a court appearance.

"It's not about money," said Grey.

She said the boy should be held accountable for his actions. Law enforcement officials have long linked animal abuse to other forms of violence.

"I want people to understand that it's not OK to hurt animals," she said.


Case Updates

A 13-year-old foster child who admitted killing a neighbor's pet rabbits in March is now facing criminal charges that he snatched a woman's purse, police confirmed Wednesday.

After his arrest Friday, the North Oakland boy told police it was the first time he had ever done such a thing, adding, "I'm sorry."

The purse-snatch victim, a 31-year-old Oakland woman, was walking down Claremont Avenue about 7 p.m., after getting off a BART train.

A witness who saw the woman's purse being taken followed the boy in a car.

The boy hid the purse in bushes on 59th Street and was later stopped by police officers near 58th Street and Shattuck Avenue after they spotted him running into the street from between parked cars.

About the same time he was telling officers he had stolen a lady's purse, the witness who followed him arrived and told officers what she had seen, police said.

The boy told officers where the purse was.

The victim, who had been searching for her purse with her boyfriend after finding its contents strewn on the street, identified the boy as the purse snatcher.

The boy was booked into Juvenile Hall on suspicion of grand theft.

He was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty last month after he admitted killing three of his neighbor's pet rabbits.

The boy lives with elderly foster parents in North Oakland. He had been asked to stay out of the neighbor's yard because of past behavior against her rabbits. The neighbor, stated he would chase them and throw glass and stones at them from over the fence.

But after high winds knocked down a fence separating their yards in March.
Source: insidebayarea.com - June 16, 2005
Update posted on Jun 16, 2005 - 11:00AM 
A 13-year-old foster child cited in March for killing two of his neighbor's pet rabbits was charged this week with a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge.

Police and hundreds of animal rights activists had asked the Alameda County District Attorney's Office to charge the crime as a felony, saying the brutal killing of the animals indicated the boy was emotionally unbalanced and needed quick professional intervention.

The boy apparently bludgeoned the rabbits with clumps of brick and tar after a storm blew down a fence separating their yards, according to police.

An animal cruelty charge is known in the legal system as a "wobbler," meaning it can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Assistant District Attorney Walter Jackson said Friday he chose the lesser charge because he hopes it will lead to an early plea bargain, allowing the courts to determine how to help the boy rather than getting him caught up in litigation.

The boy is scheduled to appear in court May 25 for a pretrial hearing.
Source: Indside Bay Area - - May 14, 2005
Update posted on May 14, 2005 - 9:42AM 

References

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