ARIZONA NEWS

Maricopa County needs public help to catch alleged puppy abuser from Scottsdale

Dec 21, 2023, 4:35 AM | Updated: 11:41 am

PHOENIX — Maricopa County officials asked the public to help apprehend an alleged puppy abuser on Wednesday.

County Attorney Rachel Mitchell announced the indictment of Scottsdale man Lester Paul Richmond on one count of subjecting a domestic animal to cruel mistreatment.

That’s a class five felony, which is the highest level of punishment an animal abuser can face in Arizona, MCAO announced.

“Cruelty to animals is a senseless and heinous crime,” Mitchell said. “My office takes these crimes very seriously.”

Richmond’s crime took place in June, according to police.

What is the alleged puppy abuser accused of doing?

A 911 call alerted the Scottsdale Police Department about a dead puppy found in an alley near Miller Road and Latham Street with its mouth duct taped shut.

Scottsdale police kicked off their investigation on June 27.

After canvassing the neighborhood, interviewing neighbors and pouring over surveillance footage, Scottsdale police identified Richmond and 32-year-old Heather Auditor as their suspects. They arrested the duo during a July 20 traffic stop near Miller Road and Pierce Street.

Detectives later found evidence suggesting they were related to the case while conducting a search warrant of their residence, according to Scottsdale police.

“After Richmond was arrested in July, we furthered the case back to Scottsdale PD for more investigation, so the defendant was subsequently released,” MCAO spokesperson Karla Navarrete told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Now that Scottsdale police resubmitted Richmond’s case, MCAO has all its ducks in a row to move forward with their prosecution.

But it’s hard to prosecute someone who can’t be found.

“Our investigators have been trying to locate him to serve him with a summons, to no avail,” Navarrete said. “We need the public’s help in locating him. There is an active warrant for his arrest.”

Anyone with information about Richmond can submit tips to Scottsdale PD online or over the phone at 480-312-5000.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Hildale, Utah, is pictured sitting at the base of Red Rock Cliff mountains, with its sister city, C...

Associated Press

Guilty plea by leader of polygamous sect near the Arizona-Utah border is at risk of being thrown out

A guilty plea by the leader of an offshoot polygamous sect near the Arizona-Utah border is at risk of being thrown out.

2 hours ago

Picture of the Mitsubishi Montero that Phoenix police suspect hit an 11-year-old girl in a crosswal...

Damon Allred

Hit-and-run suspect sought in Phoenix after injuring child walking in crosswalk

Officers are searching for a hit-and-run suspect who hit an 11-year-old girl walking in a school crosswalk on Friday, Phoenix PD said.

5 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

KTAR.com

Police investigating deadly shootings in south Phoenix on Saturday morning

Police on Saturday morning were searching for a suspect or suspects after two people were fatally shot in south Phoenix in the early-morning hours.

7 hours ago

Rattlesnake activity...

Nick Borgia

Warmer temperatures leads to increased rattlesnake activity in the Valley

The Banner Poison and Drug Information Center has seen an increase in rattlesnake activity in the Valley due to warmer weather.

9 hours ago

Housing program...

Nick Borgia

Gov. Katie Hobbs announces new $13M housing program

Gov. Katie Hobbs and the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) announced a new housing program on Friday, called "Arizona is Home."

9 hours ago

expand
The Lee Lee International Supermarkets store in Chandler. (Maison Solutions Inc.)...

Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

Arizona Asian grocery chain acquired by California company

Arizona's Lee Lee International Supermarkets has been acquired by a Southern California-based specialty grocery retailer.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Maricopa County needs public help to catch alleged puppy abuser from Scottsdale