3 To Know: Animal cruelty, fatal accident, more

Marco Eagle

1. Golden Gate man to serve jail time in abuse of four dogs, Collier County Sheriff reports

A Golden Gate man accused of housing four dogs in abysmal conditions, locked in small cages in a dark garage without air conditioning, will serve a month in jail.

The Collier County Animal Cruelty Investigations Alliance logo

According to the Collier County Sheriff's Office, Rodrigo Ochoa, 48, had recently pleaded no contest to a charge of aggravated animal cruelty in connection with his April 14, 2021, arrest. Veterinarians euthanized three of the dogs because of their deteriorated health.

Deputies went to Ochoa's home for a welfare check on another resident when they smelled urine and feces coming from a garage and heard dogs barking. The deputies asked Ochoa if they could see the dogs.

Deputies said the dogs were locked in small cages, wallowing in their waste, with filthy and mostly empty food and water bowls. Two of the dogs had open wounds and untreated skin conditions.  

Ochoa told deputies the dogs had been in his care for approximately two years, reports said.

The dogs were a 19-year-old female Yorkshire terrier; a 13-year-old female Rhodesian Ridgeback; a 12-year-old female American Staffordshire terrier; and a 7-year-old bull terrier.

The following day, Ochoa surrendered the dogs to Collier County Domestic Animal Services which performed a series of exams on the animals.

The dogs suffered from various ailments as a result of neglect and abuse, including pancreas and kidney diseases, heart conditions, large masses, pulmonary edemas, and degenerative joint disorders.  

Collier County Circuit Administrative Judge Joseph Foster sentenced Ochoa to 30 days in jail with credit for two days already served, six months of house arrest and 18 months of probation.

“Our Animal Cruelty Investigations Alliance works hard every day,” Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said. “These dedicated professionals will continue to safeguard our community’s animal population.” – Stacey Henson/Staff

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2. Collier sheriff: 39-year-old gang member took child to assault middle schooler

A documented Naples gang member took a child with him to beat a middle-schooler accused of stealing a necklace, the Collier County Sheriff's Office reported Friday.

Detectives said Reynaldo Arriaga attacked the student on March 22 after going to the student's home to retrieve the jewelry. Arriaga broke down a locked fence and strangled and battered the victim while encouraged the other child to participate in the attack. That child was too frightened.

The announcement did not reveal either child's age and where they attend school was redacted. Jail records Friday afternoon have not been updated with Arriaga's arrest, nor was it filed with the County Clerk of Courts. A report said he was arrested Thursday.

As they were leaving the home, Arriaga threw a large rock through a window.

Detectives said the victim sustained excessive bruising, scratches and minor abrasions.

Arriaga is a documented gang member in Collier County, the sheriff said. In addition to child abuse, he is charged with burglary with a battery, throwing a deadly missile into a dwelling, criminal mischief over $1,000, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The office did not indicate Arriaga's gang affiliation.

“Child abuse won’t be tolerated in Collier County, and I am committed to ensuring any perpetrators of this type of crime are brought to justice,” Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said. “Children will be safe in Collier County.” – Stacey Henson/Staff

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3. Naples man, 19, dies after being hit by Collier County Sheriff's Office SUV early Sunday

A 19-year-old Naples man was killed Sunday when he was hit by a Collier County Sheriff's Office SUV in Golden Gate in Collier County.

File: A 19-year-old Naples man was killed Sunday when he was hit by a Collier County Sheriff's Office SUV in Golden Gate in Collier County.

The Florida Highway Patrol reported the fatal crash Sunday happened shortly after midnight.

Troopers said the Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle driven by a 33-year-old female deputy was northbound on Santa Barbara in the left lane, south of Hunter with emergency equipment activated.

The teen was in the parking lot of the Circle K convenience store at 1998 Santa Barbara and was hit when he walked in front of the Sheriff's Office vehicle as it approached his location.

He died at the scene.

The driver of the Sheriff's Office unit was not hurt, troopers said. – Michael Braun/Staff

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