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Local News

Hearing Delayed Again For Man Charged in Orcutt Dog Tossing Case

The expected settlement of a criminal case involving a man charged in connection with tossing a dead dog from a vehicle into a group of rallying teachers in Orcutt was postponed again Wednesday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

Ryan Durazo, 20, faces misdemeanor charges alleging assault and petty theft of lost property, in addition to a violation of a Food and Agriculture Code section prohibiting unlawful transportation or disposal of a dead animal.

The case stems from the disappearance of Sam, an elderly blind poodle belonging to the Schwark family in Orcutt. 

Two days after Sam went missing from the yard, the dead dog’s body was tossed from a truck passing a teachers rally on the corner of Clark Avenue and Bradley Road in March. No one was injured.

The dog’s body had rigor mortis, showing it had been dead for a while, authorities said.

In addition to Durazo, a then-17-year-old boy faced the same charges although the case was handled in Santa Maria Juvenile Court due to his age. The juvenile’s name was not released.

Deputy District Attorney Catherine Pringle told Judge John McGregor the Schwark family has attended multiple hearings including Wednesday’s and another last month, when the case was expected to be resolved.

However, Durazo’s attorney, San Luis Obispo-based Patrick Fisher, did not show for either hearing and sent a substitute, his father and law partner David Fisher, to seek a postponement.

Pringle asked that if the matter is continued, Fisher and his client should show up at the next date or send someone who can resolve the case.

McGregor agreed to delay the matter a week and scheduled the next hearing for Jan. 11.

Meanwhile, the case against the teen defendant has been resolved, Pringle said. Details remain confidential as is typical with most juvenile court matters.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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