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Posted at 5:12 PM ET, 06/ 7/2010

4 mos. for throwing Chihuahua off bridge

By Washington Post editors

A man who threw a stranger's 4-pound Chihuahua off a bridge to her death in a fit of anger told the owners Monday that he “was wrong, plain and simple,” before a judge sentenced him to four months in jail.

David M. Beers, 35, an unemployed cell-tower technician and Marine Corps veteran, also must pay a $1,000 fine, perform 300 hours of community service, and pay $318 restitution to Caisha and Timothy Wantz of Jefferson for killing their dog Zoey on June 19, 2009.
dog.jpg

Frederick County Circuit Judge G. Edward Dwyer Jr. suspended a three-year prison term and ordered Beers to serve three years of supervised probation after his release.

Beers pleaded guilty in March to felony animal cruelty and misdemeanor theft for returning to the Wantzes' home after they had ordered him off their rural property and snatching the dog from an outdoor pen. They had a heated exchange minutes earlier when the Wantzes, on their way out, met Beers in their quarter-mile driveway making a cell phone call. He claimed he had mistaken the dirt lane for a service road.

Beers, a father of six, told investigators Mrs. Wantz threw coffee on his car and threatened to shoot him. To get even, he waited nearby until the family left, grabbed the white-and-tan Chihuahua and, as he drove home to Brunswick, threw her out the passenger window into Catoctin Creek, 20 feet below a bridge four miles from the Wantzes' house.

Beers confessed to police after Caisha Wantz tracked him down, alerted authorities and launched an Internet campaign against him. On Monday, Assistant State's Attorney Colleen K. Swanson gave the judge a petition bearing 1,200 electronic signatures supporting the Wantzes' demand for a harsh sentence.

“Zoey was our baby,” said Caisha Wantz, who also has two small children. “This affected our family the way the loss of a child would.” She said the episode so upset her and her family that they plan to move to avoid future contact with Beers.

“I believe with all my heart and soul that we are in danger,” she said.

State's Attorney J. Charles Smith said jail time was appropriate.

“The most troubling thing about this case is, if it wasn't for the pet, what then? What if a child was there? What would he have done to their home?” Judge Dwyer said there was no rational explanation for Beers' actions.

“I can't get beyond the fact — whether it was an aberration on your part or not — that you came back,” Dwyer said, “And you deliberately stole the dog and you killed it.”

-- Associated Press

By Washington Post editors  | June 7, 2010; 5:12 PM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, Maryland  | Tags:  Chihuahua, Dog, Frederick Maryland  
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Comments

Not enough. Not nearly enough. People can't control themselves -- NEITHER party -- and the animal suffers.

Posted by: bethesdaguy | June 7, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, they certainly don't make Marines like they used to. (Yeah, I never wore the uniform. Never threw a dog off a bridge, either.) I don't think I could imagine a more cowardly act. And once again, the Maryland judicial system drops the ball. i don't blame the prosecutor, I blame the judge. The perp was looking at 54 months, he got six. And the $318 restitution is an insult.

Posted by: gbooksdc | June 7, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

This guy probably terrorized the regions sheep population when he got the "itch" this man is scum of the earth, i hope his mom/sister reads this.

Posted by: drewkinnear | June 7, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

@gbooksdc - 54 months!? that's outrageous! Look up the incarceration rates and total prison populations by country throughout the world when you and bethesdaguy come down from your high horses. That our citizens demand outrageously long sentences is a just a reflection of our bloodthirsty, stunted emotional maturity, but the fact that our country satisfies these carnal cravings is sad. Just look at the chart.

Posted by: kolya02 | June 7, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I hope 4 months is a typo. How sad. He deserves much longer sentence. Sick bastard.

Posted by: FiatBooks | June 7, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Poor dog.

Posted by: veerle1 | June 7, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I hope this is a typo too! How is it possible for some psycho to throw a helpless dog off a bridge. What if it had been a child. I don't care for those who think well a child is different. It is a proven fact that those who participate in animal cruelty only begin there. All of the true serial killers in our history began with animal cruelty. How can we ignore this behavior. He deserved more than the maximum penalty. This is upsetting. If I were the owners, I would have to pursue this further. I would if anyone harmed 1 hair on my pets head.

Posted by: DCer10 | June 7, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I hope this is a typo too! How is it possible for some psycho to throw a helpless dog off a bridge. What if it had been a child. I don't care for those who think well a child is different. It is a proven fact that those who participate in animal cruelty only begin there. All of the true serial killers in our history began with animal cruelty. How can we ignore this behavior. He deserved more than the maximum penalty. This is upsetting. If I were the owners, I would have to pursue this further. I would if anyone harmed 1 hair on my pets head.

Posted by: DCer10 | June 7, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Calm down people. Sure what Beers did was wrong, but he didn't kill a human being for crying out loud. You people that elevate animals to human status are a bit whacked out if you ask me.

Posted by: davidwg46 | June 7, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Calm down people. Sure what Beers did was wrong, but he didn't kill a human being for crying out loud. You people that elevate animals to human status are a bit whacked out if you ask me.

Posted by: davidwg46 | June 7, 2010 10:21 PM
__________________________________________

That dog's life was all that dog had. So there's that. That dog's last moments were filled with terror and the dog was innocent. Then there are the humans that loved the dog. They had a right to "elevate" the dog -- it was their dog. They get to explain to two small children who loved that dog that there is unfathomable evil in the world, and if you wreak that evil on the smallest of creatures, you get off with a wrist slap. You don't think that will affect these people for way longer than four months? They had a home they are now terrified -- justly -- to live in, because now there's an ex-Marine (as in, knows how to use a gun) with anger management issues and a grudge towards them. So they are going to have to move away, which means new school, new job, etc. (Personally, I'd arm to the teeth and hope he came back. But that's just me.)

The advantage is always to the defendant, because the state doesn't have a personal interest in the matter, the defendant does, and the victim's not around to speak on its own behalf. If you don't think cases like this tear at the fabric of our society, respect for law and the legal system, you are very wrong.

Posted by: gbooksdc | June 7, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Comforting thought -- 4 months = 120 nights. This cowardly punk is going to be somebody's you-know-what in jail. "What are you in for?" "I killed a chihuahua" spells punk a** b****. Personally, I hope he resists, so he can get beat down along with his nightly *** f******.

Posted by: gbooksdc | June 7, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

My preference would be to throw him off a bridge.

Posted by: arcticpost | June 8, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

i feel bad for the dog but maybe this will serve as an example for people who think they can say anything they want and treat people anyhow they want and not think that there are people out there who will do some crazy things in retaliation. i wonder if the wantzes think it was worth it now to be rude to a stranger who had merely stopped to make a phone call at the end of their driveway. big deal. im not trying to defend what he did...just trying to say that i hope people think about the possible repercussions when they are rude to people. there are crazy people out there

Posted by: dsmif84 | June 8, 2010 6:40 AM | Report abuse

I hope he is getting psychiatric benefits from the Marines.

He is very sick.

DSMif84, you need help too.

Posted by: vigor | June 8, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: davidwg46

You people that elevate animals to human status are a bit whacked out if you ask me.
----------------------------

No one asked you.

Posted by: xconservative | June 8, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Jail time for killing a dog! Unbelievable!!! All he should have got was a fine. Don't step on any ants people!!

Posted by: hartmike20032004 | June 8, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, nothing wrong with killing animals. Guess that's why the cops use it as a marker for budding serial killers.

Posted by: blackmask | June 8, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

The guy who threw the pup over the side was a moron. The person who censored my post should be tarred and feathered, due to their "politically correct" view of the world. Go have a Coke, hold hands with somebody and go sing the song.

What were those last and painful words of the dog?

"Yo Quiro Taco Belllllllllllll......"

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | June 8, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

now im not saying what he did was right by any means. but if the person hadnt thrown a cup of coffee on his car and threatened his life, the dog would still be alive. and everyone that wants justice should also be saying that she should have been arrested also for defacing private property and threatening someones life. all over him being on there drive way making a phone call.

Posted by: muscles669 | June 8, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse


Indiscriminate breeding, of people, is bringing this country down.

There's no excuse for the psycho kidnapping and killing the dog.

And considering that animal torture and killing is a predictor of serial killers, such crimes should concern everyone.

Posted by: DagnyT | June 8, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

4 months for murder?? That's it?? What is wrong with our society when someone gets a mere 4 months in jail for killing an innocent creature in such a heinous way? It is proven that people who treat animals in this way will eventually do the same thing to people. People like this just disgust me. I can only hope that there is some big, bad gang raper in jail waiting for this piece of scum.

Posted by: Stats | June 8, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

4 months in jail? Dwyer, you're a tool.

Posted by: MrsKirby | June 8, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Geeze, calm down a little. The guy was a least somewhat provoked, and tossing a dog off a bridge is very, very bad, but it's not murder. Considering that he has six kids and is unemployed, the total punishment seems fair enough to me.

Posted by: justmike | June 8, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Geeze, calm down a little. The guy was a least somewhat provoked, and tossing a dog off a bridge is very, very bad, but it's not murder. Considering that he has six kids and is unemployed, the total punishment seems fair enough to me.

Posted by: justmike | June 8, 2010 9:18 AM
_________________________________________

He was provoked because he was trespassing? And then (after he hid and waited for them to leave, big man) he trespassed AGAIN, stole, and killed an innocent dog? What if he'd just beat down the woman, because he "provoked" her? Besides, the same POS who says he was "just maing a cell phone call" is the same POS who killed a chihuahua out of revenge, because he was mad over being pwned by a woman. For all anyone knows, he might have been casing her house (woman alone, far from the street) for a burglary or worse.

I do agree with the poster who said you need to take into account how mentally unstable people are. I am shocked at how aggressive people are behind the wheel, as if NO ONE ELSE is armed, which they most certainly are. For all she knew, HE could have been. Anyway, I look forward to him getting his in jail.

Posted by: gbooksdc | June 8, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

4 months in jail,
$1,000 fine,
300 hours of community service,
$318 restitution to Caisha and Timothy Wantz of Jefferson for killing their dog Zoey on June 19, 2009.

Okay, that's a good start. But you missed the most important parts. This vet needs;

psychiatric evaluation and therapy, and
behavioral modification.

Posted by: mhoust | June 8, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I completely agree with "arcticpost" to throw him off a bridge and see if they call it murder! For people to be saying that "yes it was wrong, but it was not murder because it was an animal and not a human" disgusts me! That is insane that you could think that it is any less of a crime to take an innocent animal who has a life of its own, breaths just like humans, eats, sleeps, loves, etc. and not consider it murder, or as bad as killing a person. I have a chihuahua and if someone did that to my dog I'd want the same done to them! 4 months was a slap on the wrist, our judicial system is a POS sometimes!

Posted by: starbaby71316 | June 8, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

There is a special place in hell for people who abuse animals...4 months is not nearly enough!!

Posted by: edithveirs | June 8, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

There is a special place in hell for people who abuse animals...

Posted by: edithveirs | June 8, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

This man needs serious mental help and 4 months is not enough is nothing...there is a special place in hell for people who abuse animals!!

Posted by: edithveirs | June 8, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I think it's terrible that an innocent animal had to suffer for nothing IT did, and I think it is good that the perpetrator received jail time. It seems that few people ever get that for animal cruelty. But why did that woman have to be so nasty to the guy to begin with? If I'd been lost and someone treated me that rudely just for being on their property, I'd have been upset too. (Of course, I'd never take it out on a poor little dog.) She really needs to think about how her actions set everything into motion.

Posted by: lcmc4 | June 8, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

There is a special place in hell for people who abuse animals!!

Posted by: edithveirs | June 8, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Lock the perp up- naked!! with Michael Vicks fingting pit bulls. Hope he has a good time with his new boyfriend Bubba in the joint! What a sick SOB!!

Posted by: lsf07 | June 8, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

What does him being a Former Marine have anything to do with his case? Some of you people are so stupid. It was a dog, people get less time for killing humans. Some of you guys are nuts. I'm glad we have a legal system in this country. Judging by some of your comments.

Posted by: Milo70634 | June 8, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

What I can't get out of my head is how do you explain to two small children what happened to their puppy. Mr. Beers waited and thought about what he was going to do. He had time to weigh the pros and cons. To drive away or call someone who could talk some sense into him.

What we don't know is what happened to these two families prior to this run in. Obviously, both were not having good days. Life is about how you handle the ups and downs and it is scary how one bad decision can change your life. Mr. Beers will go to jail where he will hopefully get some help for anger management. The Wantz family will need help rebuilding their trust in people and unfortunately that will take longer than 4 months to rebuild.

Posted by: bailey_s | June 8, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I agree what this man did was wrong and it is scary that anger could drive a person to do something like this.

I also think if people would put this much passion in helping abused children or punishing the abuser we would be much better off as a society. I am not saying it was just a dog but things like this happen to children and we are more accepting of it then a dog. I don't get it.

Posted by: skinsfaninWI | June 8, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

So, no one has any problems with the fact that she threatened to shoot the guy because he was mistakenly standing in her driveway? Or the fact that she actually did dump her coffee on his car?

Not defending the action of tossing a dog off a bridge, but I'd be more wary of the person who threatens to shoot me.

This woman sounds like kind of a nutcase, but of course all of that is assuming the veteran's side of the story is true.

Posted by: esocci | June 8, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I laugh at the irrational goons who are calling for this guy's head, saying he should have gotten so much more time, and even saying 'what if this was a child?'.

Idiotic. He got what he deserved, he received a fine, jail time, and restitution to the family. A dog is not a human, and save your line about how animal cruelty is a telltale sign of serial murder. This guy isn't a serial killer; he's just an a-hole that way overreacted to an argument and took it out on an innocent animal.

Posted by: Comunista | June 8, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

While it is true that it is a dog and not a person, it was a cruel and depraved act by someone who clearly was a sociopath. Probably the dog's owners could have handled the situation better with the guy and just let the trespassing go instead of making a big thing about it and provoking a confrontation. After all, you never know what can happen when you get in someone's face like that. However, that error in judgment does not justify the man killing an innocent animal. While maybe 3 years is a bit much, the sentence he received seems like a slap on the wrist. This was not a case where he kicked the dog in anger during the course of the confrontation, but a planned and calculated act. People's pets often do become members of the family and like another poster said, many serial killers got their start by murdering helpless animals. I hope this guy gets some mental help because if he does not, he'll do it again.

Posted by: da55 | June 8, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

"skinsfaninwi" - what are you talking about. No one said they would react any different if this had been a child tossed off a bridge like so much garbage. This article is about what happened to a defenseless puppy. Idiot.

Posted by: MrsKirby | June 8, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Murder is murder, whether it's a dog or a human. Part of the problem with the world is that we place a higher value on human life than we do on animal life. If we placed equal value for both human and animal life, we would never cause epic disasters like the one of the Gulf. We would know that the risk is too high for the aniamals, and we never would have put them at risk to begin with. Everything bad in the world stems directly from putting unequal value between humans and animals. The dog-killer should have gotten life. Period.

Posted by: MarylandJ | June 8, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow MrsKirby you seemed to have anger issues yourself. Do you always call a person an idiot just because you do not agree with them? Is this the type of outburst you display in front of your children?

Maybe read my post again. I am not defending this gentleman's actions but that wish more poeple carred about defenseless humans also

Posted by: skinsfaninWI | June 8, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Don't complain too much about the sentence; Beers' nightmare may just be beginning. The Wantz's probably have a line of lawyers @ their door, all wanting a crack at the civil suit.

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | June 8, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the guy should get any jail time. I think he should have his arms and legs broken, then he should be kicked repeatedly in the ribs and be hit several times in the head with a rock. When his fractures heal, not set properly, I think his six kids should be told very clearly that their father killed a small dog, they should be shown pictures of the dog's broken, dead body, and then they should be asked what they think of their father now.

For those of you who think that "it's only an animal", my response is, that should make the crime worse, not better. People are much bigger scum than pets. Some people deserve killing; most pets do not.

Posted by: jakemd1 | June 8, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

People that start with brutality towards animals...

Posted by: dc1020008 | June 8, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

People that start with brutality towards animals...

Posted by: dc1020008 | June 8, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The most terrifying thing of all is that this psychopath/loser has spawned no less than SIX children, all of whom carry the same warped genes and have endured years of exposure to his psychosis.

Yeah, I'm worried.

Posted by: Orsalia | June 8, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I agree, this guy got off too lightly for what he did.

HOWEVER, isn't it also illegal to threaten to muder someone (which the other party did?) It is certainly illegal to pour a cup of coffee on someone's car.

Posted by: floof | June 8, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Don't complain too much about the sentence; Beers' nightmare may just be beginning. The Wantz's probably have a line of lawyers @ their door, all wanting a crack at the civil suit.

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | June 8, 2010 1:59 PM
_________________________________________

He's unemployed. Lawyers call that "judgment proof." You can win a judgment, but he won't have anything to satisfy the judgment, which means that all you do is pay money for lawyers. Not to mention, in this society, dogs are property and he is paying restitution through the sentence. There was a case a few years ago where a kid lost a Golden retriever puppy when American Airlines (an airline I now never fly) allowed the dog to die from being on the ground in summertime Phoenix heat. AA took the case to the Supreme Court (which means, they were willing to incur legal fees of $400K and up in a case where the plaintiff was looking for a few thousand in damages) and the Court held that the dog was basically no more than baggage; the kid couldn't collect damages for torts like loss of companionship.

As for jakemd1, I'd be down for that, but there are Constitutional prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment. At this point, I'd be for repealing that provision, because while an eye for an eye may leave us all blind, it's hard for a guy with one eye to hit you a second time.

Finally, to all these people who say the woman overreacted, she was confronting an ex-Marine who was on her property. HER PROPERTY. HERS. Not his. He had no right to be there, period. She should have gone out there with a rifle and told him, simply, to get off her property. Then she should have made sure he drove away, then she should have called the police. He started the whole chain by being on her property. Ignorance (if he was ignorant) is no excuse. She is entitled to force trespassers off her property. The perp clearly had no respect for property rights.

I now feel inadequate with my .357 and my 9MM. (No, I don't live in DC.) There's a rifle I've had my eye on that now looks cheap at $1800. I work too hard for what's mine to have to negotiate with trespassers or worry about them bothering me and mine when I'm away.

Posted by: gbooksdc | June 8, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Don't even listen to these people who say they were too hostile to a trespasser. This guy was obviously a bomb waiting to go off and no doubt showed it when he met up the property owners.
Try living out in the sticks for a while and see how easy it is to be nice to strangers with an attitude.

Posted by: kls1 | June 8, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Humans self appoint themselves the superior species, so any other so called lower species can be killed w/o question. Humans are the most violent species ever created. Not only do they kill each other (in the name of religion, politics, and other inferior reasoning), but threaten to make every other species extinct.
Purely on whats good for the planet: the entire human species needs to be extinct, so the rest of the animals survive.
Lets start with that scum marine. I'd like to put his b&^tch ass ina roomfull of humgry Rotweilers, if he survives, he goes free. If he doesn't at least he did some good by being feed for some "inferior" animals.

Posted by: jabroni1 | June 8, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Humans self appoint themselves the superior species, so any other so called lower species can be killed w/o question. Humans are the most violent species ever created. Not only do they kill each other (in the name of religion, politics, and other inferior reasoning), but threaten to make every other species extinct.
Purely on whats good for the planet: the entire human species needs to be extinct, so the rest of the animals survive.
Lets start with that scum marine. I'd like to put his b&^tch ass in a roomfull of hungry Rotweilers, if he survives, he goes free. If he doesn't at least he did some good by being feed for some "inferior" animals.

Posted by: jabroni1 | June 8, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

The psycho is a father of six.

One can only imagine the kind of upbringing and life lessons those six children are receiving.

One of these days all six of them are going to find themselves having to deal with the rest of humanity.

Heaven help us.

Posted by: WhateverHeSaid | June 8, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

This guy deserves no second chances when he gets out, pure garbage.

Posted by: drewkinnear | June 8, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Any man who has six children and is not wealthy is trash. This man's actions prove my point.

Posted by: sperrico | June 8, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Something is missing from this story - maybe it's a few marbles in the heads of the primary actors, but why would she throw coffee on the guy's car and threaten to shoot him? I refuse to believe that's actually how it went down; maybe he had a habit of pulling into their drive to make calls, and they knew it?

Posted by: fleeciewool | June 8, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Something is missing from this story - maybe it's a few marbles in the heads of the primary actors, but why would she throw coffee on the guy's car and threaten to shoot him? I refuse to believe that's actually how it went down; maybe he had a habit of pulling into their drive to make calls, and they knew it? Funny how they happened to be "heading out" just as he was there.

Posted by: fleeciewool | June 8, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Okay - apparently they asked him to move out of the way so they could leave out of their driveway, and he refused and started talking trash. Now it makes sense.

Posted by: fleeciewool | June 8, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe any of this, because everyone knows that chihuahuas always land on their feet. The little whiner deserved it.

Posted by: MagicDog1 | June 8, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

for those who think he did not get enough time, 4 months is a long time and he will be on probation. for those who think he should not have gotten any time, do you also think that a car thief should not get time? What is the difference?

Posted by: good1 | June 8, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

To me, he killed my child - a four month old, innocent child - who I adored and protected and nurtured. So, I would expect him to be punished for killing my child. So what if he is not mentally normal - he killed my child !!!! His mental/emotional state is his problem, not mine or 'society's'. He killed my child !!!!! I am still silently screaming with shock and the agony of coping with such a heinous act.

Posted by: turnbullme | June 9, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

We don't punish the scum who kill, abuse and torture animals nearly as severely as we should. It has been established in many studies that these are the same people who move on to violence against humans - which is not to say that is the reason to punish them, but another reason to get them off the streets. We have to make it socially unacceptable and create a strong disincentive to engage in this sick conduct.

Posted by: btmom | June 9, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

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