Fish Killer Gets Probation

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I think I have only seen one other story that I thought was funny although it involved domestic violence, and that one involved a woman beating a man with his own prosthetic leg.  See "Man Beaten With Own Leg by Leg-Wielding Girlfriend," Lowering the Bar (Aug. 17, 2005).  Nothing funny about the domestic violence itself, of course, just the surrounding circumstances.

This story is like that.

Donald Fite III of Portland, Oregon, pleaded guilty on October 13 to domestic violence assault (the not-funny part) and animal abuse (the in-this-case-funny part).  His former girlfriend, Sarah Harris, told police that although the two had broken up, she found him one day in her apartment.  He wanted to get back together, but when she refused he got angry, shoved her and pulled her hair, but she was able to escape.

When she returned with police, her ex was gone, but she found a fish from her aquarium pinned to the wooden floor with a knife through it.

Now, if this was almost any other kind of pet, I would not find this funny at all.  Maybe I'm just incapable of bonding with fish.  And if this had been all there was to it, probably no post.  But at this point the story seemed to go a little over the top.

Harris said that the fish, a Betta or Siamese fighting fish about three inches long named "DeLorean," was very important to her and that she had cried hysterically upon seeing it impaled.  "Donald bought the fish for me," she said, "and I'm sure he knew how much I cared for it."  He certainly did, and admitted almost immediately that this was why he had executed it.  "If she can't have me," he reportedly told police, "then she can't have the fish."  He's got that first part backwards.  Not only does this guy fail to treat women with respect, he can't even get his revenge saying right.

At the hearing this week, Fite's attorney said that his client did feel remorse for the ichthyocide, and that stabbing a fish represented a "very low point" in his client's life.  "He is absolutely mortified and ashamed about what he did to the fish," said Tom McNair, who also noted that his client had no prior criminal record.  Judge Eric Bergstrom accepted Fite's guilty plea, sentenced him to two years probation with community service and ordered him to undergo a psychological evaluation. The prosecutor also noted that Harris allegedly planned "to get a memorial tattoo of the fish" and wanted Fite to pay for it, but Judge Bergstrom denied that request.

According to the report, the judge also ordered Fite to stay away from Harris, "but said he could have contact with fish."

Link: Yahoo! News