Who, age What Where When Last known address
Randy Dean Randels Dog tied to car dragged 17 miles, dies

Green Mountain Reservoir, CO

Summit County

July 25, 2003 Evergreen, IA
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date
Misdemeanor   1   1-1/2year old Rottweiler Convicted 7/9/04

Summit County officials are to decide whether to cite an Evergreen man accused of killing a dog by driving 17 miles with the animal tied to his Jeep.

The 1 ½-year-old Rottweiler, Misha, belonged to Alex Jaeckel of Evergreen, who last saw it alive looking back at her as the truck left a campsite near Green Mountain Reservoir.

"I saw him pulling out and I just didn't run fast enough," Jaeckel said.

Jaeckel, 48, said she was camping last week with a group that included a man who was a former member of her billiards team.

Jaeckel said she tied the dog to the door of the man's vehicle, thinking the animal would scare off raccoons that raided the camp the night before.

Jaeckel said she had made certain the man knew her pet was affixed to the truck.

"He responded twice when I told him the dog was there, tied to the handle," she said.

The man left the campsite about 3:30 a.m. Friday, Jaeckel said. He didn't stop until he reached a convenience store in Silverthorne, 17 miles away.

The man's cousin and a friend left the camp afterward and followed a trail of blood. They retrieved Misha from a dumpster near the store and returned to the campsite, where they buried the dog.

The man also returned to the camp and said the dog's death was an accident. Jaeckel said the man left for Iowa after the camping trip.

Jaeckel said the man told her that a woman had followed him to town, trying to get his attention.

"Apparently, this woman was behind (him) for a long time on Route 9 and tried to stop him," Jaeckel said.

Jaeckel placed an ad in the Summit Daily News, hoping to hear from the female witness.

A different witness filled out a statement Tuesday, said Lesley Craig of Summit County Animal Control. The agency is working with prosecutors on the case and a decision on whether to file animal cruelty or criminal negligence charges could come today, she said.

Jaeckel said she is seeking charges because "this is about holding him accountable and not about revenge."

Update 8/13/03:  Summit County authorities have issued an arrest warrant for an Evergreen man accused of speeding away from a campsite last month and fatally dragging a dog tied to his passenger door.

Randy Dean Randels faces a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals in the July 25 death of Misha, a year-old Rottweiler whose body was dumped at a convenience store in Silverthorne nearly 20 miles from the campground.

"I'm glad that the district attorney is taking this seriously," said Alex Jaeckel, the dog's owner and an acquaintance of Randels.  "My fear is he will not be held accountable," she said.

Randels, who is said to have traveled to Iowa, outside the state jurisdiction for the arrest warrant, could not be reached for comment but, Jaeckel said, has acknowledged the incident while denying responsibility.  "I believe people are capable of all kinds of horrors and mistakes and misdeeds, but denial, to me, is the worst. He has not made any attempt to apologize or anything. He's just been very belligerent," she said.

Lesley Craig, the lead animal-control officer for Summit County, said the arrest warrant was sought because Randels knew the dog was tied to the door. If convicted of the Class 1 misdemeanor, he could face six to 18 months in jail and a fine of $500 to $5,000. "It's a difficult situation. It's just sad all around. There is no good point to this story," Craig said.

The incident at the Davis Springs Campground at Green Mountain Reservoir reportedly occurred after Randels gave Jaeckel permission to tie the dog to the car to act as a guard against marauding raccoons.

Before she went to sleep inside her vehicle parked next to Randels' Jeep Cherokee, she said she told him, "Don't forget - Misha's there." She said he acknowledged her, but at 3:30 in the morning, she awoke to the sound of his car engine starting.

"I jumped bolt upright and saw him not just slowly pulling out, but kicking up dust," Jaeckel said. "My dog was looking back at me like, 'What do I do?' and trotting behind."

Update 9/4/03:  Randels surrendered to Summit County authorities and then was released from jail on bond.

Summit County authorities issued a warrant for Randels last month after he failed to respond to the charge.

Randels surrendered and then posted $2,000 bond.

Update 4/22/04:  Randels was convicted of animal cruelty on February 19th, 2004.  A Colorado jury found Randy Randels guilty of misdemeanor animal cruelty.  Randels will be sentenced for his crime on July 9, at which time he faces a maximum three-month prison sentence and a $1000 fine. Letters to the judge, requesting stern sentencing, can be sent to:
The Honorable Edward Casias
Summit Combined Court
P.O. Box 185
Breckenridge, CO 80424
Fax: (970) 453-1134

Update 8/13/04:  A Summit County judge handed down jail time to an Iowa man accused of dragging a friend's dog for 18 miles behind his vehicle, calling the crime "horrific."

Randy Dean Randels was sentenced to two months in jail - one of which was suspended. He also was ordered to undergo drug counseling and animal abuse therapy, perform 200 hours of public service and pay a $500 fine plus restitution costs for the July 2003 incident at Green Mountain Reservoir.

In a case that drew letters and e-mails from around the world, Randels was convicted in February of animal cruelty in the death of Misha, a Rottweiler that had been tied, with Randels' consent, to his Jeep during a campout. He drove away in the middle of the night, dragging the dog to Silverthorne before dumping its body next to a convenience-store trash bin.

"She was discarded like a piece of trash," said Judge Edward Casias. "She didn't deserve that. No pet does."

Alex Jaeckel, the dog's owner, asked the judge to order counseling rather than jail time because she contends that Randels needs help for substance abuse more than punishment.  "I don't believe Randy is a horrible person. I believe he's very sick," said the Evergreen resident, who admitted to having bad dreams about the ordeal.

Witness Don Kitchen recalled hearing the Jeep start in the middle of the night and the horror that unfolded as he chased Randels in his own car toward Silverthorne.

"I'll never forget the primal screams of Alex yelling for him to stop," he said. "I'll never forget a second or two of Misha trying to keep up. ... I'll never forget the 18-mile trip of seeing the blood stains, on both sides of the yellow line, all the way down Highway 9."

Randels told Casias that the incident was an "unfortunate accident" that left him "devastated."

Reference:

Rocky Mountain News

The Associated Press

Denver Post