Teen, 17, arrested in Frying Pan Park animal slashings

Henry the calf drinking milk from a bottle while recovering from injuries. (WTOP/Hank Silverberg)

WASHINGTON – A Herndon teenager faces felony charges in connection with animal slashings at Frying Pan Park in April and May.

Fairfax County police say the 17-year-old boy is charged with four felony counts of maiming animals, three misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals and two counts of unlawful entry.

Police say they arrested the teen Saturday after getting a tip on Friday. They aren’t describing the motive, but say they believe they have the weapon used in the attacks: a machete.

Police say two goats, a calf and a chicken were cut between 5 p.m. Saturday, May 26 and 7 a.m. Sunday, May 27.

On April 26, three horses, used as therapy animals at a riding center, were stabbed while in a barn adjacent to Frying Pan Park.

The Washington Post reports an informant told investigators the teen used a 22-inch machete to cut horses belonging to the Spirit Open Equestrian Program, after one horse reportedly threw the teen while he attempted to film himself riding it.

The attacks on the animals raised concerns in the community and prompted a $7,500 reward.

The Fairfax County Park Authority worried the attacks would keep visitors away. The park has more than 300,000 visitors a year.

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