News

16-year-old arrested in killing of crocodile on campus

BUSTED: University of Miami police chief David Rivero addresses the media Thursday, annoucing the arrest of a suspect in the killing of an endangered American Crocodile found on campus. LAUREN WHIDDON // Hurricane Staff

BUSTED: University of Miami police chief David Rivero addresses the media Thursday, annoucing the arrest of a suspect in the killing of an endangered American Crocodile found on campus. LAUREN WHIDDON // Hurricane Staff

UPDATED 6:33 P.M. 10/31/2008

The University of Miami Police Department in conjunction with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have arrested a 16-year-old in the killing of the 8-to 10-foot crocodile killed in a UM canal Oct. 1.

University of Miami Police Chief David Rivero announced at a press conference Thursday that John Michael Herndon was arrested for the dismemberment of the endangered crocodile.

“A very good tip on Monday, 10 days ago, led us to get a search warrant and find DNA evidence [linked to the perpetrators],” Rivero said.

Rivero, along with Officer Jorge Pino of the FWC, said a total of three juveniles and two adults were involved in the crime. DNA evidence was found at 6780 SW 44 st. Apt. 6 in South Miami, near Coral Lake. While one minor has been arrested, the other is missing. Three of the five involved contributed to the crime but “were not actively involved” in the murder.

“We are still looking for the second subject,” Rivero said.

Their motive was pure game.

“[Herndon] comes from a family of poachers,” Rivero said.

Herndon, who Rivero said showed signs of “remorse” for his actions, was taken back to the scene of the crime to point out the location of significant evidence.

The charges to the five individuals include killing an endangered animal, cruelty to animals, trespassing on school property with a weapon, possession of a burglary tool, grand theft, contributing to delinquency of a child, unlawful use of a two-way communication device, criminal solicitation and criminal conspiracy.

Rivero added that the arrested minor had fished on campus in the past.

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=2113258&show_title=0&show_byline=0″ height=”283″ width=”375″ allowfullscreen=”true” /]

Evidence, including knives and a chum bag used to lure the crocodile from the canal, were recovered.

Herndon told investigators where to find the head of the crocodile, and the Miami-Dade Police Department dive team retrieved it from a lake near campus.

The success of this case, according to Rivero and Pino, sends a message to the local community that “this will not be tolerated.”

“We were all emotionally attached to the croc, who lived here for years,” Rivero said. “That set us off on our investigation.”

In the press conference, UMPD revealed that the investigation was titled “Operation Donna,” after the deceased crocodile’s name.

In addition to the UMPD team of investigators and FWC, Rivero attributes the success of the case largely to Crimestoppers, who facilitated the acquisition of tips, and rewards offered by CompUSA and the Humane Society.

Joshua W. Newman contributed to this article.

October 30, 2008

Reporters

Chelsea Kate Isaacs


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “16-year-old arrested in killing of crocodile on campus”

  1. pepe says:

    how were you emotionally attached.. by love n sexually or just platonic

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

Duke Johnson, the all-time leading rusher in Miami Hurricanes history, was one of a dozen members of ...

The Miami Hurricanes, still waiting for a starting quarterback to be named, are in the top 25 again. ...

Happy first day of school for everyone out there, including the University of Miami students. We jus ...

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.