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Anonymous tip leads to arrest in stabbing of horses, other animals, at Herndon, Va., petting zoo

6:47 PM, Jun 25, 2012   |    comments
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HERNDON, Va. (WUSA) --  Fairfax County Police have made an arrest in the case of a serial animal slasher.  A teenager has been charged with four felony counts of maiming animals after two attacks at the Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon.

The first attack came two months ago.  Three therapy horses with the Spirit Open Equestrian Program were stabbed overnight on April 26th.  Then, exactly one month later, four farm animals - two goats, a calf, and a chicken - were slashed at the Kidwell Barn.  The community was so outraged that they donated $7,500 for a reward.  Finally, last Friday, Fairfax County Police got the anonymous tip they'd been waiting for.     

"One of the things that the detectives found is what they believe to be the weapon that was used.  It was a 22 inch machete," said Lucy Caldwell with Fairfax County Police.

Police arrested the 17-year-old boy on Saturday afternoon.  They won't reveal his identity because he's a juvenile, but they would confirm that he is from the Herndon area.  He's been charged with four felony counts of maiming animals, three misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals, and two counts of unlawful entry.  He is currently being held at the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center.   Despite the arrest, police won't say what motivated the teen to commit the two attacks.  

"We can't always release what the motive is to the public, but it's something that's very difficult for anyone to understand," said Caldwell.

It's especially difficult for the Frying Pan Farm Park Staff.

"We feel relief and sadness," said Tawny Hammond, Frying Pan Farm Park Manager.  "I'm just grateful to the community and to police for giving the animals the justice they deserve."  

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