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Student charged with animal cruelty in albatross slaying

  • COURTESY DLNR / 2010

    Adult albatross.

A 19-year-old college student has been charged with animal cruelty, nearly a year after seabirds were found dead at Kaena Point.

Christian Gutierrez is charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty and other charges. The Hawaii Department of Public Safety says he turned himself in Tuesday and was released after posting $25,000 bail.

Hawaii News Now reports there were at least 15 destroyed nests of Laysan albatrosses at Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve last December.

Gutierrez’s attorney, Myles Breiner, says his client didn’t harm any birds. He says Gutierrez was camping at Kaena Point with a group of classmates from Punahou. Breiner says one of the others is responsible.

According to a police report, Gutierrez attends New York University. He’s scheduled to be arraigned next week.

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  • Sad. Good student with a few screws loose. Even if he says he wasn’t involved he was there and could have stopped it. Now he has to contend with the consequences.

  • Hmph. Punahou. What other alumnus of this school also makes stupid decisions that affect hundreds of millions of our fellow citizens, then doesn’t accept responsibility for those decisions, instead pawning off culpability on others? Punahou would be well advised to do a better job of teaching it’s students to own up to their actions (i.e. Ethics 101). Comprende? Ho! Let the wrath begin…

  • These kids who did this should be punished harshly. The gruesome killing of these helpless birds show the sick behavior of the individuals responsible. It’s also how serial killers start out, so we better lock them up now before they get on to bigger and worse things. For those who stood by and watched and didn’t stop them from carrying out their sick deeds, you are also responsible for the cruel death of these birds. As a parent of an NYU student, I hope the school finds out and gets rid of you. You don’t belong there, nor do you belong with the rest of humanity.

    • All us meat eaters are just as bad. Chickens grown in super small cages and fish stollen from a beautiful life in the ocean. It’s all the same to the animals, it’s just our human perspective that makes one bad and the other OK. Just saying….

      • Don’t agree with you postmanx. These kids did not harm these birds in order to feed themselves or to survive. It’s one thing to hunt to put food on the table but killing or harming animals just for the pleasure is a totally different type of behavior and one that borders on psychotic.

        • But killing is still killing ain’t it? Do you really have to kill something just to eat? The answer is no.

  • Unless you were there or have heard first hand from someone who was, you don’t know. Leave it alone.
    Breiner has taken several cases that involved police misconduct. I’m glad that someone dares to do that. It’s a conflict that he represents the Chief when there are unresolved cases where Breiner represents civilians against the police. Not Breiner’s fault or his responsibility and the Chief gets his choice of attorney, but strange from the taxpayers’ point of view.

  • “…Gutierrez was camping at Kaena Point with a group of classmates from Punahou. Breiner says one of the others is responsible.”
    IF that’s the case he needs to man up and start naming who else is involved. There’s no honor in accepting the blame and responsibility for another person’s crime.

  • Oh, so it was “another” Punahou student? In my day, Punahou would’ve said buh-bye to the whole bunch — zero tolerance of that kind of outrage. They would’ve done the same this time, were it not for the fact they were fortunate enough to graduate before the investigation could be completed.

    In any event, we’ll see if Gutierrez rats out his classmate(s) in an attempt to beat this rap. Shame on all of them.

  • Punahou grad and a University student? Presume he is an above average intelligent person. Why does he or others within the same sphere of interlectual capacity responsible for this cruelty, would succumbed toward an act of stupidity? Kids, don’t waste your parents sacrifice toward your education! It’s an insult to their trust and love for you!

    • Being highly intelligent and a scion from a good family doesn’t preclude cruel or sadistic behavior. I think every school kid (Punahou student or otherwise) would benefit from learning the fates of Leopold and Loeb. Both were extremely smart (Leopold’s IQ was claimed to be 210) Jewish kids from very well-to-do families. If it wasn’t for Clarence Darrow (also of Massie Case fame (or infamy)) they would have both swung from the gallows.

      One thing this young Punahou alumnus’ family can be relieved about is that he probably won’t end up like Ted Bundy. It’s usually only in fiction (think Yukio Mishima’s “The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea” where budding serial killers torture helpless animals as members of a group.

  • I believe this is covered under Federal Law and in 2016 it is classified as crime against Society and a Class A Felony. I do not want this to become “Catch and Release”. Due to the extent of the criminal act, make him and example and prosecute accordingly…$ fine and jail time.

  • Why isn’t this a federal crime? I have more faith that the federal prosecutor would investigate and get justice. It appears that there is too much influence and pressure to do the proper job on the local level, especially when the prosecutor assigned has legal issues and ethic challenges of her own. Mahalo to the people that kept this story spotlighted so that it could not be ignored. Now we need the right entity to prosecute this case so that it doesn’t go away again.

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