Prosecutors in Fort Dodge have arrested three people in a case of apparent animal abuse stemming from a video of opossums being doused with lighter fluid and set on fire. The case came to light after a video of the act was sent to the internet website “E-BaumsWorld”. Webster County Sheriff’s Department Detective Kevin Kruse says three 19-year-olds from Fort Dodge are charged with animal torture and made their first court appearance Wednesday.
They were released by the judge “with supervision” to the Department of Corrections. They’re not behind bars but will have to work with probation officers and follow rules including no other charges of wrongdoing for now. The district court will set their next court date, but hasn’t done it yet. The three, all from Fort Dodge and all 19 years old, were identified as David Bendickson, Anthony Herrington, and Kevin Calderon. The detective says they’d sent their amateur video to an Internet website that specializes in offbeat humor, but operators of “E-Baums-world-dot-com” didn’t think it was appropriate.
Kruse says it was eBaum that began digging out the identity of the culprits, and handed off the case to Animal Rescue League of Iowa. The League came to Fort Dodge cops who called in the county, as the crime happened outside the city. The three are identified as 19-year-old David Bendickson, Anthony Herrington and Kevin Calderon, all of Fort Dodge. Detective Kruse says a district court will set the next court appearance date for the three.
Animal torture is an aggravated misdemeanor which could net each of the young men a minimum fine of 500-dollars and up to 2 years in prison.