ALAMEDA (CBS 5) — A 12-year-old Oakland boy and a 9-year-old Hayward boy are accused of using a shovel to bludgeon to death eleven chickens inside a chicken coop operated by an Alameda community garden, authorities told CBS 5.

Police arrested the two boys on charges of animal cruelty after the gruesome attack was discovered over the weekend by other children at the Alameda Point Collaborative. Police said the kids found eleven birds dead, while six were still alive and one was missing.

Witness interviews led to the first boy’s arrest on Tuesday, police indicated.

“(The suspect) was blaming other juveniles, but the juvenile was witnessed hurting the chickens with sticks and shovels,” said Alameda police Sgt. Wayland Gee.

Police arrested the second boy, said to be a friend of the first boy arrested, on Wednesday.

Both boys were released to their parents and ordered to appear later in juvenile court. Their names were not released and it was not clear if either of the boys had a history of juvenile delinquency.

Gee said it was uncommon for children this young to become involved with crimes involving killing animals.

“It is disturbing and does raise a bit of concern when we do see it,” he said.

The collaborative garden, which teaches children about urban farming and nutrition, serves hundreds of formerly homeless families at the site of what was once the Alameda Naval Air Station.

Children involved in the Growing Youth Project expressed grief and anger as a result of the chicken slaughter.

“I wanted to cry and was holding back tears because I used to go out every morning and feed the chickens,” reacted 12-year-old Cary Proctor.

Collaborative workers said ten children care for the chickens and sell their eggs as a fundraiser.

“The chickens were just reaching the point where they’d start laying eggs and the kids have been using the money for a lot of their social activities – like doing a camping trip and a Thanksgiving meal for the community,” explained Doug Biggs, the group’s executive director.

While the financial loss of the dead chickens was about $500, Biggs said it could mean that the summer camping trip involving about 25 children would be canceled.

A local school has donated ten chicks to be raised to help replace the birds that were killed. In addition, the Alameda Police Officers’ Association was also collecting donations to help pay for older chickens that could lay eggs now.

As for the boys accused in the chicken deaths, Biggs said it was clear that the boys had “real emotional issues.”

“I’d like to see those issues addressed. I’m not for retribution. I’m for learning,” he said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

Comments (28)
  1. Punish him says:

    If this boy can do something so horribly cruel now, who or what will he kill when he’s older? Serial killers start out torturing and killing helpless animals as children then graduate to humans. I hope he gets more then a slap on the wrist and a time out. When they aren’t punished they think nothing of commiting other offences.

    1. Jake Rogers says:

      You’re awfully stupid aren’t you? If officers and law officials could imprison any civilian because they believe that in the future they may resort to illegality, then many innocents would suffer. What these children did was stupid, but they don’t deserve to be sentenced to a juvenile detention centre. Once you go to a place like that, even for a minimal amount of time, it affects your life forever. Two main concerns are their reintegration into society, being forced to get jobs and finish their education, and the connections made in the centre may set them into a path of crime.
      The former issue would be a large deal, if one of them tries to look passed the incident, people like you won’t allow him to forget it. He may be refused from jobs, professions, educational facilities and even certain stores because of this incident. In 20 years time why should he pay for an idiotic action he performed at age 9.
      The latter issue, while more common in actual penitentiaries, while still be rampant in juvenile centres as well. Places like that force children to grow up too fast, and lose track of what would be important.

      I feel disgusted seeing comments like yours, they are reminiscent of law and order prominent from medieval times. Having people locked away for an incident as a child. No, serial killers don’t start out torturing and killing animals, do your research. While some do that, yes, most serial killers come from an abusive childhood that scars them for live. Practically all of them have drunken parents, often the mother is a prostitute, the dad usually has no job, or a pathetic one and has his own anger that becomes expressed towards his children. Don’t watch a television show or film and think the actual mannerisms of the serial killers on screen, can be attributed to the ones in real life.

      As I have stated before, this “time out” you speak of will never allow these children to live a normal life again. Finally, your final statement “When they aren’t punished they think nothing of commiting other offences.” This is true to a sense, when children don’t know the severity of their actions. You suggest as though they haven’t been punished for this, when they have had media attention, people like you judging them without even knowing, and their families would have had their own form of punishment for them. Please don’t tell me you actually believe they deserve jail time, which is the stupidest form of ‘law’ current in our society. At age 12 – 16, the brain begins preparing itself to keep knowledge for the rest of its life time. If a child doesn’t use his brain within that time, it is more than likely that they will remember something frivolous and redundant, perhaps playing video games or something similar. To place a child in jail at this crucial time, would be like letting a rose bloom at the bottom of a well. Both the rose and the human would wilt and proverbially die.

  2. Dan Wisholek says:

    Were they going to eat the chickens anyway? Did they still eat the chickens?

  3. athenia says:

    They had better get some security, and better protection for the chickens! The little monster should be put in a youth prison! he will do it again, and I also blame the parents! next time just let them watch a film!

    1. Jake Rogers says:

      Where is your evidence to suggest any of this you presumptuous idiot. It’s a good thing you probably don’t have the intelligence to become a barrister, lawyer or some other law official. I shudder at the thought, your use of false, unsupported evidence and superstitious morality would imprison people for lives.

  4. Tours Martel says:

    Some folks you dress up, but you just can’t take them anywhere. Any takers for a bet on the lack of fathers and two parent families for the boys?

  5. Patty says:

    yup, they can put the whole family in youth prison as far as Im concerned.

  6. Sam Mallory says:

    Bad parents….sue them chicken owners!

  7. james says:

    uh…another jeffery domer

    1. PJV says:

      This is how he got started – by torturing little animals. Scary, huh?

  8. Sunil says:

    Why are these boys even released free after what they have done to the defenseless? Alameda be prepared for human serial killers in the making

  9. j says:

    As a preschool teacher I can tell you-lack of any sort of limits at home, miserable parenting..I have a few right now–always defending their kid when their kid does shameful things at sschool, and sort of bad behavior.
    This is what I expect them no question in my mind, to be like. If not that then they are just sick creatures that need serious psychological help in reference to what they did. My heart instantly breaks for any sort of animal mistreatment.
    Plus the budding animal lovers that had to witness such bs. Makes me seriously hurt more reading this. Anyone else.

    1. Hung says:

      I agree with you. I feel bad for those chickens. When parents don’t discipline their kids, their kids will likely commit more crimes as they get older. Shame on the bad parents and their bad kids.

      1. Jake Rogers says:

        And what is your idea of discipline sir? Not long ago, child discipline was enforced by the man taking off his leather belt and beating his children senseless.

  10. Garrick Roshau says:

    Maybe the chickens were making fun of them?

  11. says:

    These kids need to be analyzed. As everyone else said, I can’t help wonder what these boys may do in the future. Bad parenting and just creepy as hell…

  12. sam says:

    take my email down please. install a delete button.

  13. Larry says:

    Boy our politicans sure have the right priorities. Telling police to arrest chicken killers instead of human killers and common street thugs!

    1. BOB says:

      Hey Larry your a dumb a$$ if you don’t think these kids did no wrong!

    2. BOB says:

      @ Larry so you think these kids did no wrong?

  14. Charles says:

    Because you kill some chickens does not mean your evil and going to become a serial killer. The boys could have been upset at the program or the kids in the program and decided to ruin the program for everyone. It is not an excuse and the boys need to be punished but to label them as evil or potential murderers is overstating what they did. Not everyone sees animals as PETA would have us see them. The incident should be treated as a property crime and the kids or their parents should have to pay the damages to the program. No, I do not care about the feelings of the chickens nor do I believe that a chickens right to life exceeds the owners desire to consume it. I do, however feel sorry for the children who may have become attached to the chickens.

  15. justin gastone says:


  16. Luis Fernandez says:

    When you See a Chicken gotta hit it with a Shovel lololololololol

  17. TheDarkHatty says:

    Well I don’t think I will wear my SlyFoxHound shirt for a few days it might cause a couple of glares to be directed at me…WHEN YOU SEE A CHICKEN GOTTA HIT IT WITH A SHOVEL HIT THAT CHICKEN WITH A SHOVEL SHOVEL!!! (SlyFox: Hitting chickens with shovels is something you should only do in Minecraft never in real life)

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