6 Un-named Juveniles
Dognapping and torture
Las Vegas, NV
Sept, 27, 2000
Richard McDonald and Douglas Stumpf pleaded guilty to misdemeanors in the theft and torture of a high school's canine mascot known as Blu.
Blu a 20-month-old English bulldog and mascot for Centennial High School, sustained life-threatening injuries after she was forced into a staged fight with another dog (a 9 month old pit bull trained for attacks) while students watched.
Blu had lost a dangerous amount of blood, suffered from hypothermia and 6 infected puncture wounds to her left ear, cheek neck and shoulder.
A 17-year-old Centennial senior named Tiffany Clark owns Blu while Douglas Stumpf owned the pit bull.
Both McDonald and Stumpf (age 18) were two of 11 students charged for the cruelty. McDonald and Stumpf both were ordered to stay out of trouble for one year, write letters of apology to the dog's owner and perform 150-200 hours of community service at an animal shelter. McDonald must also prepare a report on the causes and effects of animal abuse. Stumpf was also given a $270 fine, must pay $1000 in restitution and a 2-day jail sentence as well as 60 days of house arrest. The only dog now permitted in Stumpf home is his mother's terrier. Stumpf owned two dogs, which now have been taken and placed elsewhere.
McDonald was a starting quarterback on the Mojave football team. He no longer plays football and attends an alternative school. If he stays out of trouble and completes all the terms of his sentence, his record will be wiped clean at the end of one year.
Long, Stedman and Ward (all age 17) were expecting to receive similar sentences, but Juvenile Court Judge Robert Gaston rejected the sentence the two sides agreed on. Instead Judge Gaston, ordered the boys to spend a week in jail, to undergo psychological evaluations, a year on probation and 200 hours in community service with an animal welfare agency. They were also ordered to write letters of apology to Blu's owner. All are now former members of the football team.
A 16-year-old, whose name was not released, was sentenced to 1-year probation and no animals can be left in his care while on probation and he was ordered to spend 200 hours in community service. The boy did not participate directly in the dognapping and was not actively involved in the dogfight, but because he was a spectator, that was enough to charge him with a juvenile offense, under Nevada law.
The other 5 students charged in the abuse are awaiting adjudication of their cases in Clark County Family Court because they are all juveniles. 4 of the remaining 5 students were charged with misdemeanor witnessing a fight. The other student, face more serious charges for stealing the animal. All but 1 pleaded guilty before Juvenile Hearing Master Fernando Guzman to felony charges including theft, conspiracy to commit theft, maiming and animal, instigating a fight between animals, injuring or abandoning an animal and misdemeanor witnessing a fight. They have not yet been sentenced.
All the boys were booked on suspicion of felony theft, felony cruelty to an animal, maiming an animal, and conspiracy. All the boys were from Mojave High School- a football game rivalry is believed to be the motivation behind the cruelty.
The football coach, Steve Gresh, showed up after the fact and left but didn't report the cruelty. Because there was not enough evidence to support charging Gresh, he will not be prosecuted.
The boys told police they let the pit bull attack Blu for a couple of minutes then cleaned her off and let the dog be attacked again. They said they were going to let the dog get Blu again but got bored because Blu wasn't fighting back.
An Anonymous man walked into the ARK Animal Clinic and paid Blu's $500 medical bills shortly after the attack. $4000 in donations in Blu's name has come into the clinic and will be used to help animals whose owners can't afford the veterinary care.
Captain Rick Bilyeu of the Metropolitan Police Department investigated the case. Frank Ponticello, the Deputy District Attorney prosecuted the youths involved.
The Las Vegas Review Journal