Sept. 19, 2000
RIO RANCHO, N.M. (APBnews.com) -- Two men are facing animal cruelty charges for allegedly dragging a pet rabbit to its death behind an all-terrain vehicle.
Greg Dickerson, 29, and Johnny Garcia, 21, were arrested after witnesses called police about 9 p.m. Friday to report an animal was being dragged behind a vehicle in the parking lot at a local recreation center in this Albuquerque suburb, police said.
Authorities initially said the animal was a dog, but it turned out to be a domesticated long-haired rabbit, police Sgt. John Francis said.
Police do not know who owned the rabbit, he said.
Helicopter aids in search
When police arrived at the recreation center, Dickerson and Garcia allegedly drove off in two ATVs and tried to hide in nearby hills behind a local school, Francis said.
An Albuquerque police helicopter was called in to help find the suspects and flew into the area with its lights turned off, he said.
An infrared sensing device that detects body heat was used to find the two men, one of whom was seen tossing a fanny pack with marijuana and a pipe into bushes, Francis said.
Face jail terms
Dickerson and Garcia both are charged with cruelty to animals, resisting and evading a police officer, and drug possession, he said. They face up to 18 months in jail for each crime.
Dickerson is free on $12,600 bond and Garcia is free on $11,000 bond. Both are awaiting arraignments, Francis said.
Richard Zitrin is an APBnews.com national correspondent