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Eye witness shares ‘disturbing’ details of animal cruelty case involving the murder of 4 chickens

ISLA VISTA, Calif.—A broken lock plate, a pile of feathers, and a community shocked by what they say was a disturbing series of events.

This is what remains following the attack of the 4 chickens that the churchgoers at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Isla Vista saw as family.

“The children and church, everybody is devastated that, you know, this brutal killing took place,” said UCSB Professor Kathie Moore.

Shadow, Sunshine, Speckles, and Siracha— the 4 hens that brought joy to a community for the last 5 years— suffered a fate that Kathie Moore describes as brutal and violent.

“Two of them tried to get away from him by going beneath the floorboards. You can see that he ripped up the floorboards in order to get them. And Then one of the chickens escaped from the coop, but he chased that bird down and killed it, too,” said Moore.

What was already an emotional goodbye for UC Santa Barbara student Sofie Rappeport, who was helping her roommates move out of their Isla Vista apartment— became even more gut wrenching as the group of sophomores witnessed the tragedy unfold.

“We just saw this figure start swinging and in the chicken coop. And we were wondering what he was doing. And my roommate said, I think he might be killing the chickens,” said Rappeport, who just finished up her 2nd year at UC Santa Barbara.

Rappeport said that she found the suspect’s calm demeanor rather disturbing when she and her roommates confronted him. She details the incident stating,” He walked out with a chicken, jumped over the fence again and took it behind a bush and started beating it. And then I yelled, ‘Hey, did you just kill that chicken?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ And my other roommate yelled, ‘Why?’ And he just said ‘For fun’ and shrugged and rode off on his bike. I called the police then and he ended up circling back around, picking up one of the chickens he left and riding off.”
This incident happened on Sunday on the 6500 block of Picasso Road in Isla Vista.

But locals are concerned that this isn’t an isolated incident.

On an online platform called Yik Yak, anonymous users shared stories of a kid matching a similar description killing ducklings and skunks in the area.

“It's scary that a kid's going around and hurting all these animals. And, you know, if you do something like that to the animals, it's like, what else is he going to be doing?” said Rappeport.

The Sheriff's Department say they are asking anyone with additional information to come forward.
A memorial service for the birds was held Tuesday evening at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Isla Vista. 

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Mina Wahab

Arab-American producer & reporter with a mission to dig deep in interviews, share authentically, shed light on the issues that matter, and provoke deep thought.


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