NO JUSTICE FOR GINO
Around 5 A.M. Monday morning, June 22, 2015
Marilyn Devengenzo and her husband Bob could not find their dog, Gino anywhere. The morning routine was for Gino and their other dog Red, to unlock the office with husband Bob and get treats. Gino was not there.
Bob looked in the backyard, the side yard and the front of the house and across the street. Marilyn went to the next door neighbor’s yard and in the arena. She then decided to get dressed and search other areas. Marilyn drove around all the areas she normally walked the dog. There is a trail next to their home and there is a trail across the street that goes to Oak Grove and back. Marilyn talked to everyone she saw. She approached people on the trails asking if they had seen an older Australian Shepherd wandering by himself. No one had seen her dog.
Marilyn talked with a Fireman at the fire station on her street asking if they had any calls in the night involving a dog. He said no. Marilyn called Walnut Creek Police and they said the Sheriff handles Animal Control for them . She called the County Sheriff’s Department and was told they had no information for her. She would need to contact Animal Control on Tuesday when they open.
Tuesday June 23, 2015
Early Tuesday morning Marilyn went to Animal Control with a poster she made including Gino’s picture. She filled out a report for a missing dog. She asked if they had any Australian Shepherds and was told no. She asked if any dead animals from the weekend and on Monday, were Australian Shepherds , and they looked in their “dead book” and told her no.
Marilyn had prepared herself to learn that Gino was dead. She wanted to bring his body home to bury him on their property and to say goodbye.
Marilyn left Animal Control with hope. She left feeling Gino was still alive.
What Marilyn did not know and would only find out later that day, was that Gino’s body had been dropped off at Animal Control the day before, which was Monday. Just another animal body to be disposed of. Gino’s body was thrown on a pile of dead animals that had been killed by Animal Control the previous week. The company that contracts with Animal Control to dispose of the body’s, picks them up on Monday when Animal Control is closed to the public.
After leaving Animal Control on Tuesday, Marilyn continued to walk the street and the trails and asking people if they had seen Gino.
When Marilyn got home she received a call from Ramon a man from the Contra Costa Water District. He sadly told her he saw her poster with Gino’s picture and her phone number. He said your dog was deceased. He told Marilyn he was cleaning the canal and he found Gino on Monday and took him to Animal Control. He then felt necessary to explain that there was something wrong with the way he found Gino. Gino was next to the big grate, but it appeared his back legs were tied. Marilyn was too upset to talk more with Ramon and did not ask a lot of questions.
That evening Marilyn’s son came over and called Ramon. He wanted a better explanation.
Ramon explained that it looked like black shoe laces or something similar that was around Gino’s legs. But when he lifted the body out of the water, whatever was around Gino’s legs, fell off and went through the big grade and Ramon could not retrieve it. Ramon said he sees a lot of dead animals and this did not look right to him.
Marilyn cried a lot and then got really mad. She posted on Next Door Northgate that her dog was no longer missing and put some pictures of Gino. Marilyn said “ He was a gentle soul. He was growing old along with me. We laughed that he had doggie dementia as well as arthritis. I know I would lose him soon, but not like this .” She went to her Facebook page and shared the horrible information and some pictures of Gino.
A friend on Facebook re-posted and sent it to Claycord and information to Channel 2 and Channel 4 and Channel 7.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Wednesday morning Marilyn received a call from Leanne Menendez of Channel 7 wanting to talk to her about Gino and what took place.
Wednesday afternoon Marilyn was interviewed by Contra Costa Times, later by Channel 4 and Channel 2.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Animal control responds to the media. They double talk. They do a public relations spin. They say they are opening an investigation. If they did straight talk, they would have said, we have no record of Gino’s body being brought in. Gino’s body was disposed of on the day he was brought in. And any potential evidence was destroyed.
At Animal Control there is a Veterinarian on staff as well as an X-Ray machine. They are paid for with citizen’s tax money. At the very least, the Veterinarian should have looked at Gino’s body, especially for signs of his legs having been bound. And there should have been an x-ray taken looking for broken bones.
The time for an investigation is before the evidence is destroyed.
Thursday afternoon Marilyn met with Animal Control Lieutenant Jane Andreiotti. She interviewed Marilyn about the circumstances that took place. Lieutenant Andreiotti’s opinion at the end of the conversation was that this was a terrible accident and felt there was no evidence to prove anything. Marilyn still objected to the fact that Gino was found without his collar and tag. Lieutenant Andreiotti dismissed that saying he could have gotten out of his collar at some point. Marilyn disagreed and felt a “person” had to take off Gino’s collar. Gino’s collar was leather with a metal buckle that had never came off even when he was young and more active. Gino’s collar has never been found.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Justice for Gino Poster, more flowers, cards, poems, garden decorations and plants were arranged on the fence near the grate. A Facebook page was created, Justice for Gino.
That afternoon Lieutenant Andreiotti interviewed with Claycord and the other news channels picked up the same story. In her interview, Andreiotti used a lot of “it is most probable”, “possibly getting hit by a car”, ‘it is most probably the dog drowned or died of possible unknown injuries sustained that night” . She said the investigation had concluded.
What Lieutenant Andreiotti did not tell the media was that Animal Control could not give Gino’s body to Marilyn on Tuesday morning, June 23, because the body and all potential evidence was destroyed the day before when Gino’s body was left at Animal Control.
Director Voices for Pets (925) 685-5388
On October 2, 2015 in Vallejo, California Kathleen Zander let the family’s 5 year old, 16 pound dog, named Tippy in the backyard so he could go to the bathroom. A few minutes later, Kathleen heard a horrible scream from Tippy and she ran out into the yard. Tippy was huddled up in a ball and crying in pain. Kathleen saw that Tippy had a terrible injury to his left eye. She immediately called her Vet, Animal Advocates Veterinary Hospital, and rushed Tippy there for treatment. Dr. Victor Liu said “Tippy’s eye is not salvageable and that his vision is lost due to the amount of internal damage”. Tippy’s eye was removed to stop the bleeding.
Tippy’s family had been having problems with their neighbor Daryl Crockett for years. In 2012 Daryl Crockett sent an anonymous letter to neighbors complaining about Tippy barking. A neighbor came over with a copy of the letter and asked Kathleen if she had received one. Kathleen said no. She had no idea someone was complaining about their dog. The letter was not signed.
Kathleen immediately set out on foot to find out who sent the letter so they could talk and resolve the problem. As Kathleen talked to her neighbors, some said they did not hear Tippy bark. Some said they sometimes heard Tippy bark but it did not bother them. When Kathleen tried to talk with Daryl Crockett in his driveway, he quickly moved around his truck and did not want to talk. He threatened to have her dog removed from their home.
Kathleen said Tippy is mostly a house dog and is only let out in the morning and evening to go potty or when she is in the backyard with him. And again at the times the grandkids come to play with Tippy in the backyard.
After the letter incident, Tippy became sick and threw up white meat. He was lethargic for 2 days. Kathleen said they never gave Tippy meat. While dog sitting a neighbor’s dog , that dog also became sick and lethargic. The Zanders started putting a leash on Tippy and tying it to the patio table when they let him out to go potty. Kathleen’s husband Tom, said that for the past 3 to 4 years they have found dead pigeons in their yard as well as steel balls. He spoke to Daryl Crockett about it and Crockett told him he was shooting pigeons with a slingshot.
One week before Tippy was injured, the Zander’s had security cameras installed around their house. One camera is aimed at the backyard and another is aimed at the common fence that divides their backyard from Daryl Crockett’s yard.
When Kathleen got home from the Veterinarian, she and her husband Tom reviewed the video.
One video which is time stamped, shows Daryl Crockett approach the fence, looking side to side as if to see if anyone was watching. Crockett then clearly fired an object from the slingshot and walks away quickly. Another video which is also time stamped, shows Tippy being struck by something and running away.
The Zander’s security company , Morgan Alarm, came to their house to download the original footage and burn it onto a DVD. Officer Angie Gatto of the Sheriff’s division of Animal Control responded. Officer Gatto did a good job of investigating. This is something we rarely see from law enforcement, including Animal Control. Officer Gatto took a statement from the Zander’s and the Vet that treated Tippy. She collected evidence which included two anonymous letters. One was in Crockett’s hand writing and a number of 3/8 inch steel balls that the Zander’s have found in their yard. These steel balls are marketed for powerful slingshots. They are advertized to be affective up to 275 yards, the length of two and ¾ football fields. If a human was hit in the head, it would surely cause a skull fracture and possible brain damage. Any shots that missed the pigeons or anything else that Daryl Crockett was shooting at, was a danger to everyone in the neighborhood.
On October 6, 2015, Solano County Sheriff officers served a search and arrest warrant at Crockett’s home. He was handcuffed and booked into Solano County Jail on a charge of Felony Cruelty to an animal. And he was released on $25,000 bail.
Crockett’s next court date is January 8, 2016 at the Solano County Superior Court, 355 Tuolumne Street, Vallejo,Ca. at 8:30 A.M. in Courtroom 103.
It is very important to have citizens presence in the courtroom to show support for the victim; also to write letters and emails to Solano County District Attorney Krishna A. Abrams, 675 Texas Street, Suite 4500, Fairfield, Ca. 94533. Fax: 707-784-7986 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I cannot stress the importance of your participation any better than did Alameda County Deputy District Attorney, David Cook in a March 1998 San Francisco Chronicle interview. Cook said he encourages campaigns such as the one by Voices For Pet, Cook said: “Anytime people start calling or writing letters it does change the dynamic and it affects the way the case is seen” “I think what they are doing is good and they should not be disappointed or unhappy because it does have an effect. The situation would be more unacceptable if they would just give up and remain silent”.
Leroy Moyer, Director of Voices For Pets 925-685-5388
December 2015 Update