Friday, September 30, 2022

Family raise money for lawyer after claiming police killed raccoon

  • Erin Christensen was arrested after bringing her raccoon to a bar, according to the Bismark Tribune.
  • She said authorities raided Christensen’s home and immediately killed the raccoon, recovering his body for disease testing.
  • The family held a fundraiser to pay Christensen’s legal fees and donate to a wildlife rehabilitation center.

The family of a North Dakota woman who escaped from police are raising money after they say local police shot and killed a pet raccoon with rabies links.

Erin Christensen, 38, and her family are raising GoFundMe to cover legal costs after she was accused of causing a rage panic at a local bar in Maddock, North Dakota, when she brought a raccoon for her family, she wrote in the fundraiser.

The family has been nursing a raccoon, named Rocky, back to health for three months, according to The Tribun de Bismarck.

According to the fundraiser, Christensen found the animal on the side of the road in June.

“Rocky was found about 3 months ago in the evening, he was alone, scared, hungry, we decided not to involve him because maybe his mother would come to help him, the next day he was still at home. same place, so we took his family tapped on the fundraising page.

“We worked hard to rehabilitate him and bring him back to the wild, we bottle-fed him, fed him, he was still bottle-fed when he left and he was still learning to scavenge the food we put around trees and snags,” the family added.

On Sept. 6, police said Christensen brought Rocky to a local bar in Maddock during happy hour, according to the Tribune.

Cindy Smith, who worked at a bar at the time, said there were about 10 people in the bar and that Rocky never hit anyone in the five minutes he was inside from the bar.

“I saw her wearing something, and I asked her what it was, and she showed me, and I said, ‘You have to get her out of here,'” Smith told the Grandstand. “I had no idea what she was thinking. »

According to Tribune, the incident prompted the state Department of Health and Human Services to issue a warning about possible exposure to rabies.

“Rocky never left my arm when I visited Maddock’s Bar, so who was at risk of getting rabies or other illnesses? Christensen said on GoFundMe.

Christensen was arrested on Wednesday after the Benson County Sheriff’s Office and the North Dakota Department of Fish and Fish executed a search warrant, according to the Tribune.

Scott Winkelman, head of the game and fish division, told the Tribune that Christensen tried to evade authorities.

The Benson County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to an insider’s request for comment on Sunday.

According to the family’s statement on GoFundMe, authorities have promised to quarantine Rocky and let him go as long as he shows no signs of rage.

According to Tribune, authorities raided Christensen’s home looking for Rocky and killed the raccoon on the spot, taking his body away for testing for the disease.

“Police brought in a disturbing ram to break down the front door of the house where Rocky was staying at the time of his death,” Christensen said on GoFundMe. “The amount of manpower used to find and kill Rocky, with simultaneous raids on three different residences, is impressive. The Shock and Awe Campaign. »

Rocky’s test result came back negative for rabies, according to GoFundMe’s statement.

Christensen was arrested for providing false information to law enforcement and tampering with evidence. And according to the Tribune, she also got a Game and Fish violation for unlawful possession.

The charges are misdemeanors punishable by up to several years in prison and fines of up to $7,500, the outlet reported. The Tribune said Christensen is currently free on a $1,500 bond.

“The effect on my family is that my children are confused and traumatized by the excessive force that was used while holding this animal,” Christensen said on GoFundMe. “It undermines the trust they have in local law enforcement. My children are broken and inconsolable. »

The family is raising money from GoFundMe to not only pay for Christensen’s legal fees, but also to donate the majority of the money to wildlife rehabilitation centers in Rocky’s memory.

“Rocky was only a few months old, he was the cutest, loveliest little baby ever and everyone loved him, there was never a dull moment around him, Dang was always smart and happy,” she said on GoFundMe.

Nation World News Desk
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