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2016 City News Releases

Posted on: November 3, 2016

Breck Ruddick plea agreement on animal charges

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Springfield Chief Municipal Prosecutor Carl Yendes announces that the City has reached a plea agreement with Breck Ruddick, 20, on his two outstanding municipal charges of cruelty to animals (Section 18-9) and permitting a dog to run at large (Section 18-53) of the City Code. The charges stem from events occurring in the early morning hours of Sept. 20. Sec. 18-9 (a) reads: No person shall be cruel or inhumane to any dog or cat by beating, torturing, kicking or other physical abuse. Sec. 18-53 (a) reads: It shall be unlawful for any person owning, controlling, harboring, possessing, or having the management or care of any dog to permit such dog to run at large. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of $1000 and/or up to 180 days in jail. The plea agreement calls for a plea of guilty on the dog at large charge, with a $1,000 fine and court costs. $500 of the file will be suspended for two years from the date of the guilty plea. Ruddick will be placed on supervised probation for that time period. Ruddick will be required to attend an anger management program and maintain good behavior for the entire probationary period. If Ruddick successfully completes the anger management program and pays the non-suspended part of the fine within the first year of probation, the probation may be converted to unsupervised for the second year. Ruddick’s duty to obey all laws and ordinances shall continue for the entire probationary period. On the animal cruelty charge, the City has agreed to defer prosecution of the charge for two years. During that time, the case will be removed from the active docket, and Ruddick will be required to perform 150 hours of community service work within 300 days and maintain good behavior. The completion of the requirements in the dog at large plea agreement are also a part of the conditions of the deferral on this charge. At the end of the deferral period, if all items have been timely completed and no new violations of laws or ordinances have occurred, the animal cruelty charge will be dismissed at that time. If a violation of the deferral agreement occurs, the case will be reinstated to the court's active docket, and may be set for trial. The deferred prosecution agreement is not an admission of guilt by Ruddick to the charge. Yendes stated that the factual circumstances of the case made the plea agreement appropriate. "One item, not widely known previously, is that there is evidence that Mr. Ruddick was bitten by the dog at the time of alleged abuse. That, combined with some of the other facts of the case, support this as an appropriate disposition of the two charges." Yendes referred the animal abuse matter to the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney’s office last week. County Prosecutor Dan Patterson declined to file state charges. The Animal Control Division of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department investigated the incident and cited Ruddick Sept. 26. ### No additional information is available at this time, but media are welcome to contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement at 417-380-3352 or cscott@springfieldmo.gov with any questions.

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