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Lady Gaga: Five arrested in dognapping case

Lady Gaga: Five arrested in dognapping case thumbnail

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image captionLady Gaga has appeared with her bulldogs at events in the past

Five people have been arrested over the violent theft of two French bulldogs belonging to US artist Lady Gaga.

In February attackers shot dog walker Ryan Fischer in the chest and took Lady Gaga’s dogs, Koji and Gustav.

Mr Fischer had to have part of his lung removed but survived the attack, and has since left the hospital.

On Thursday Los Angeles police announced they had charged three suspects for the incident itself as well as two others as accomplices.

James Jackson, Jaylin White and Lafayette Whaley – aged 18, 19, and 27, respectively – have been charged with attempted murder and robbery.

Officers also charged 40-year-old Harold White – Jaylin White’s father – and Jennifer McBride, 50, with accessory to attempted murder. Ms McBride returned the dogs to the police two days after the theft, after Lady Gaga had offered a $500,000 (£359,000) reward for their return.

“Detectives were able to establish McBride had a relationship [with] Harold White,” a Los Angeles police press release said.

All four men charged were “documented gang members”, the release said, without giving details.

Police said they did not think the attackers were aware Mr Fischer worked for Lady Gaga – whose real name is Stefani Germanotta – when they attacked him.

But evidence suggested they knew “the great value of the breed of dogs”, which was “the motivation for the robbery”.

Mr Fischer was walking the three dogs in a residential area of Hollywood at night when the attackers pulled up in a car.

He was shot in the chest with a semi-automatic handgun and two of the dogs were taken. Another of Lady Gaga’s bulldogs, Asia, was unharmed in the incident.

Mr Fischer later described Asia as his “guardian angel” who gave him the determination to survive.

“My panicked screams calmed as I looked at her, even though it registered that the blood pooling around her tiny body was my own,” he wrote in an Instagram post in March.

“I cradled Asia as best I could, thanked her for all the incredible adventures we’d been on together, apologised that I couldn’t defend her brothers, and then resolved that I would still try to save them… and myself.”

media captionOrganised crime driving ‘epidemic’ of dog snatching in the UK

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