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All about the herpetological world.

Good Samaritan’s lizard stabbed dead by visitor

Posted by Miqe on May 16, 2007

Pet owner let homeless suspect stay in apartment

Alan Goulette holds an iguana given to him after his Nile monitor lizard was fatally stabbed. Police are looking for the suspect.

Macomb Daily photo by Ray J. Skowronek

Police are looking for a suspect who fatally stabbed a man’s pet lizard.The suspect, who had just spent 45 days in jail over parking tickets, was released last week and invited to stay at an apartment rented by Alan Goulette, 54, of Clinton Township. The suspect used a knife to stab the Nile monitor lizard, said Detective Capt. Richard Maierle.

“To show his gratitude to the good Samaritan who let him stay in his apartment, this guy takes a knife and stabs the lizard several times,” Maierle said. “I don’t have any idea what type of man would take a helpless animal and stab it with vengeance.”

After the incident, Goulette called an animal control officer to take the lizard away.

Goulette said police have the hunting knife used in the attack. He said the stranger, who told him his name was Ray Orlando, left after the lizard died and hasn’t returned.

Maierle said two neighbors told police they saw the suspect standing in the hallway making motions like he was stabbing something. Maierle said the men didn’t think anything about it until they saw a large amount of blood in the hallway. Goulette found the 4 1/2-foot-long lizard a short time later.

If convicted of animal cruelty, the suspect could be sentenced to a 4-year prison term.

While police said they know the identity of the suspect, they would not release his name until a warrant was signed by a district judge.

“I did everything I could to save ‘Swamp Billy,'” said Goulette of the lizard he named after a friend who lives near the swamps in Florida. “There was no reason for this deadly abuse. Swamp Billy was not an aggressive animal and only tried to defend himself.”

A neighbor since has given him an iguana to “fill the hole in my heart to make up for Swamp Billy,” Goulette said.

Goulette, who is retired from the General Motors Truck and Bus Plant in Pontiac, said he brought the suspect into his house after seeing him waiting for a bus at the Macomb Mall. He said the man was homeless, cold and hungry and Goulette told him he could come to his apartment to get out of the weather and have a sandwich.

“I don’t ask for names,” said Goulette. “What if it was Jesus and I turned him away? I just don’t turn people away.”

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call police at (586) 493-7800.

From Macomb Daily

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