• 63°

Five arrested in robbery of Lady Gaga’s dogs

By STEFANIE DAZIO

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The woman who returned Lady Gaga’s stolen French bulldogs was among five people arrested in connection with the theft and shooting of the music superstar’s dog walker, Los Angeles police said Thursday.

Detectives do not believe that the thieves initially knew the dogs belonged to the pop star, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement. The motive for the Feb. 24 robbery, investigators believe, was the value of the French bulldogs — which can run into the thousands of dollars.

The dog walker, Ryan Fischer, is recovering from a gunshot wound and has called the violence “a very close call with death” in social media posts. He was walking Lady Gaga’s three dogs — named Asia, Koji and Gustav — in Hollywood just off the famed Sunset Boulevard when he was attacked.

Video from the doorbell camera of a nearby home shows a white sedan pulling up and two men jumping out. They struggled with Fischer and one pulled a gun and fired a single shot before fleeing with two of the dogs, Koji and Gustav.

The video captured Fischer’s screams of, “Oh, my God! I’ve been shot!” and “Help me!” and “I’m bleeding out from my chest!”

Lady Gaga offered a $500,000 reward — “no questions asked” — to be reunited with the dogs. The singer had been in Rome at the time filming a movie.

The dogs were returned two days later to an LAPD station by a woman who originally appeared to be “uninvolved and unassociated” with the crime, police initially said. The woman, identified Thursday as 50-year-old Jennifer McBride, had reported that she’d found the dogs and responded to an email address associated with the reward, police said.

McBride turned out to be in a relationship with the father of one of the suspects, the LAPD said Thursday. It was not immediately clear if she had received the reward.

Police arrested James Jackson, 18; Jaylin White, 19; and Lafayette Whaley, 27, in connection with the violence. They are charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and second-degree robbery, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Jackson, who authorities say was the shooter, also faces charges of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and a felon carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle. White faces one count of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.

White’s father, 40-year-old Harold White, and McBride were arrested and accused of being accessories to the attack. The elder White also was charged with one count of possession of a firearm and McBride faces a charge of receiving stolen property.

Jackson, Whaley and the Whites are all documented gang members, according to the LAPD.

The five suspects were scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. It was not immediately clear if they had attorneys who could speak on their behalf.
All five were being held on $1 million bail each, online jail records show.

Lady Gaga did not immediately address the arrests on her social media accounts Thursday afternoon. Fischer and Lady Gaga’s representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

Comments

Education

Local student surprised with horse-drawn ride home from school

Local

Pedestrian hospitalized after being struck by police car

Local

Torch Run returns to Rowan streets, raises money for Special Olympics

Crime

Fish arcade company drops suit against Rowan County Sheriff’s Office

Crime

Man faces kidnapping, assault charges after woman escapes at Webb Road Flea Market

Local

Natoli promoted to assistant county manager, will retain human resources director title

Education

Attendance restriction lifted for RSS graduation ceremonies

Business

Rowan Chamber of Commerce will host in-person Power in Partnership on Thursday

Business

Rowan EDC will undergo name change, alter board requirements with updates to bylaws

Nation/World

Israel strikes Gaza tunnels as truce efforts remain elusive

Nation/World

Supreme Court to take up major abortion rights challenge

Nation/World

Biden boosting world vaccine sharing commitment to 80M doses

Crime

Man charged for stowing away on Norfolk Southern train, impeding railroad operations

Local

Group will protest treatment of Georgia woman during 2019 traffic stop

Crime

Man overdoses at Piedmont Correctional Institute

Crime

Sheriff’s Office: Two men escape from jail, found in bushes on Fulton Street

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue be resurfaced?

Local

Political Notebook: Rowan’s lawmakers pass 140 bills into the opposite chamber before deadline

Local

Police chief to present use of force policy; city manager to present 2021-22 budget

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on charges of felony larceny, possession of stolen vehicle

Coronavirus

CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration