Follow up to dogfighting case
By Michelle Rivera - MichelleRivera1@aol.com
Back in July, 2001, As many readers will remember, I
wrote an article and put out an urgent plea for letters to be sent to
the office of the State Attorney, the Director of Animal Control and the
Palm Beach County Sheriff asking for aggressive prosecution of more than
sixty dog-fighters arrested in Palm Beach County. Of the sixty, two were
sheriff's deputies. I would like to follow up at this time and let
readers know the outcome of that case.
The sheriff's deputies were fired but were re-hired a
week later. They suffered no losses whatsoever, and didn't even have to
perform community service. The Police Benevolent Association played a
big part in protecting these officers. I spoke to one of the officers,
Reginald Mickens, who had absolutely no remorse and actually told me
that people "prejudged me because I am black." He was caught at the
dogfight so far inside the building that he had to have been there for a
very long time.
The dogs who were confiscated, three of whom were in
serious condition and had to be put on iv therapy, were stolen right out
of the evidence room at the county facility the night after the bust was
made. An informant told the arresting officer that it was an "inside
job." The dogs were never recovered.
The other defendants accepted a plea agreement for
misdemeanor animal abuse and served eight months in the county jail.
Most were out in a few months.
The felony charges against Steve Rousseau and Rousselet
Alphonse of 4116 Plumosa Street in West Palm Beach were dropped on
October 24, 2001 because the office of the state attorney was not
aggressive in their prosecution. The case was thrown out because of a
technicality that could very easily been defended had the prosecutors
chosen to do so. They did not.
Letters are needed to Barry Krischer, the State Attorney
for Palm Beach County (StateAttorney@sa15.state.fl.us) expressing your
disappointment in his handling of the case and in his attitude toward
animal cruelty crimes in general. Please also ask that the ruling be
appealed. The arresting officer is trying to get the ruling appealed,
but without pressure from the public, it is unlikely that she will be
After I wrote my first article about this case, more
than 250 letters were received in the office of the state attorney and
this pressure played a huge part in the decision to move forward with
the cases. I have inside information that before the letters came in to
the office, the cases were going to be "pled out" as simple misdemeanors
and not taken at all seriously.
Please help us to see this case through and that justice
is served. We cannot let the office of the State Attorney simply go
through the motions just to placate the animal rights activists, and
hope we will quietly go away. The arresting officer in this case is
eight months pregnant and is working over time on this case, our getting
behind her and showing some solid support will give her the extra edge
she needs at this very critical time.
Go on to Request From
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