Who, age What Where When Last known address
Justin Carrafield, 26 stabbed a pitbull pup with a sword

Mission Viejo, CA

Orange County

January 20, 2009  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved
Felony domestic violence, drug possession, burglary 1 8-month-old pitbull pup

Just hours after extensive surgery, Azure, an 8-month-old puppy, licked the face of the veterinarian who had saved its life.

The charcoal-gray female pit bull, which had been stabbed repeatedly with a martial arts-style sword, walked into a veterinary recovery room today with Dr. Matthew Wheaton. The pup pulled on its leash, wagging its tail.

"She's extremely lucky," Wheaton said. "With the multiple stab wounds to her head, abdomen and body, it's amazing she doesn't have internal injuries."

       (Photo courtesy of Orange County Register)

Azure was stabbed by Justin Carrafield, 26, of Mission Viejo after he got into a fight with his girlfriend, choking her and then stabbing the dog, Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Steve Bernardi said.

  (Photo courtesy of Orange County Register)  Carrafield was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty, domestic violence and cultivating marijuana. He is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail. According to sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino, Carrafield, a Web designer, has a record that includes burglaries, thefts and assaults.

Amormino calls this case "rare" saying that domestic violence cases do not often involve animal cruelty.

Erin Lup, 19, Azure's owner, said she could tell things were getting out-of-control when Carrafield downed a bottle of alcohol and started fighting with her.

"I had just lost my job as a hostess at Coco's and Justin was really stressed out about money," the Saddleback College student said from her parent's home in Laguna Hills. "He'd been taking depression pills all week. He started choking me and I just wanted to leave with my dog."

Carrafield insisted on keeping the dog, which they had purchased together. Lup said she ran to a neighbor's house. She feared for Azure, she said, because Carrafield had been abusive to the puppy before. He frequently punched and kicked the dog.

"I never thought he would do anything like this," she said, her voice wavering. "I didn't think he would make her bleed. I hoped he'd just pass out. I called my dad for him to get me."

As she waited in the parking lot, a couple walking their own dog pointed to Azure aimlessly walking around and asked, 'Is this your bloody dog?'  "I was crying and freaked out," said Lup. "I couldn't believe he did this."

Sheriff's deputies were called to the apartment on La Almeda in Mission Viejo.

When officers arrived, they banged on the door and received no answer. They forced entry and found a dark apartment littered with bloodied martial arts weapons. Blood was on the floor and wall.

Deputies found Carrafield lying on his bed. They also found marijuana being cultivated in a closet, officials said.

  (Photo courtesy of LA Now)

In the meantime a neighbor found the bloodied puppy and took her to Mission Viejo Urgent Care. Lup declined all services for the animal except for pain medication and an antibiotic because she had no money to pay for the rest.

          

(Photo courtesy of Orange County Register)

The next morning Lup took the puppy to Alicia Pet Care Center in Mission Viejo, operated by Wheaton. He gave his staff instructions to do everything needed to save Azure.  The dog underwent surgery for seven stab wounds, including one between its eyes. Today Azure was doing well and expected to make a full recovery.

Funds for the more than $5,000 in treatment came from Wheaton's Pet Rescue Center – a Mission Viejo nonprofit dedicated to saving strays that would otherwise be euthanized.

The group has saved and placed 40 dogs and cats in new homes since opening at Alicia Pet Care Center.

"Animal abuse makes me sick to my stomach," said Wheaton, petting Azure. "The fact that some dogs and cats that are out there in homes get treated this way…It's unbelievable."

Update 3/5/09:  A man who stabbed a pit bull puppy with a sword seven times during a fight with his girlfriend has been sentenced to a year in jail.

26 year old Justin Carrafield pleaded guilty Wednesday in Orange County Superior Court to animal cruelty and cultivating marijuana. A felony charge of possessing of a dagger was dismissed as part of a plea bargain.

The 8 month old pit bull puppy named Azure was stabbed by Carrafield after he got into a fight with his girlfriend and allegedly choked her, according to prosecutors.

Sheriff's deputies were called to an apartment on La Almeda in Mission Viejo in January on reports of a domestic violence altercation.

Neighbors reported that 26-year-old Justin Carrafield had stabbed the dog and gone back into the apartment, threatening to kill himself.

The bleeding dog was found in the parking lot, according to Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Steve Bernardi.

The pit bull was taken to a Mission Viejo animal hospital where she underwent surgery after being stabbed between the eyes, in the abdomen and other places on her body, including one that extended into the dog's liver, according to Orange County Sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino.

Despite some liver damage, the puppy is doing well and expected to make a full recovery after undergoing surgery.

During a search of the apartment, officials said they found marijuana being grown in a closet.

Carrafield, a Web designer, also has a record that includes burglaries, thefts and assaults, according to court documents.

Update 3/29/09:  Carrafield who stabbed a pit bull puppy with a sword seven times during a fight with his girlfriend has been sentenced to a year in jail.

Carrafield pleaded guilty in Orange County Superior Court to animal cruelty and cultivating marijuana. A felony charge of possessing of a dagger was dismissed as part of a plea bargain.

The 8 month old pit bull puppy named Azure was stabbed by Carrafield after he got into a fight with his girlfriend and allegedly choked her, according to prosecutors.

Despite some liver damage, the puppy is doing well and expected to make a full recovery after undergoing surgery.

During a search of the apartment, officials said they found marijuana being grown in a closet.

Carrafield also has a record that includes burglaries, thefts and assaults, according to court documents.

Reference:

KTLA News

KABC

LA Now

LA Unleashed

Orange County Register