Fayetteville police forward goat video case to prosecutors

A photo of “Grace” the goat from the Goats of Anarchy Instagram account.

Photo: Goats of Anarchy / @goatsofanarchy

Fayetteville police will not pursue criminal charges against a juvenile who was shown in a video using a goat’s horn to open a canned beverage, according to a news release.

After investigating the video, which surfaced online earlier this month, police said the person’s behavior did not meet the criteria of the state’s aggravated animal cruelty statute, which is a class D felony. The law defines aggravated animal cruelty as the “torture” of a “dog, cat, or horse.”

Investigators said misdemeanor animal cruelty and underage drinking offenses were considered, but noted that state law prohibits officers from making misdemeanor arrests without a warrant unless they actually witness the crime, even if the incident is caught on video.

“This video has caused some understandable concerns and questions,” the news release stated. “As the video gained more social media attention, there was much speculation as to what exactly had transpired with the goat, and to what extent the incident was investigated.”

The department said all the individuals involved in the incident were located and interviewed.

“Many hours were spent locating the goat and verifying its condition,” the release stated.

Police said the goat was rented as a practical joke and later returned to its owner, who said it was unharmed.

The department has forwarded the case to the Washington County Juvenile Prosecutor and the City of Fayetteville Prosecutor to determine if misdemeanor charges will be filed.