Oreo’s Saga Extended: Owner Fails To Show For Court Date

Home Brooklyn Life Oreo’s Saga Extended: Owner Fails To Show For Court Date

By Nathania Zevi

Fabian Henderson, who last June beat and threw his pit-bull Oreo off a roof of a Red Hook housing project failed to show up for sentencing this morning – even as animal rights activists lined up to see whether he would be sent to prison.

Henderson, 20, who pled guilty in October to animal cruelty was facing one to four years in jail. Instead Judge Cassandra M. Mullen issued a bench warrant for his arrest.
The activists, meanwhile, had begun gathering early this morning. They met in front of the Kings County courthouse at 9 a.m. to organize their protest against a case that has raised eyebrows over the past months.

Oreo somehow survived the six-story fall, suffering two broken front legs and a fractured rib. But last month, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals decided to euthanize her after declaring her unfit to live because of her aggressive and unpredictable behavior toward both people and animals. Two veterinarians had concluded that she was not able to overcome the abuses she had endured.

That decision upset many dog lovers and activists from such organizations as including “Win Animal Rights” who this morning distributed flyers in front of the court house claiming that dozens of people had expressed interest in adopting Oreo.

Oreo, after the fall. Photo by Joe Pentangelo, ASPCA.
Oreo, after the fall. Photo by Joe Pentangelo, ASPCA

“ASPCA executed her after she sat in a cage in isolation with limited human interaction for weeks, wearing an Elizabethan collar 24 hours a day because that made it easier for them to handle her,” said Camille Hankins, the organization’s director.

Meanwhile, inside the courtroom, 20 people gathered to hear the sentence imposed.

“Henderson, I am calling Mr. Henderson,” said Judge Mullen.

But he was not to be found and by 11:30 Assistant District Attorney Lisa Berk packed her folders while Henderson’s attorney, Femi Bilikisu Disu, was walking in and out the court room looking for her client. Her face showed disappointment but not surprise.

“What do you expect from a guy that threw a dog out off a roof?” said Hankins, who was wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with an image of a huge pit-bull and animal-rights mottos.

“Maybe he is camera shy,” said a photographer, laughing.

“I would really like to see him going to jail for the maximum time possible,” said Reedu Taha, of United Action for Animals while walking out the courthouse. “And I guess the fact that he didn’t show up in court will not help him.”

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