Two charged in theft of pit bull from shelter

Pierce County prosecutors have charged two people after a man with a knife threatened an animal shelter employee and stole a pit bull from the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County.

Prosecutors charged Bradley James Brant last week with first-degree robbery in the Aug. 30 incident. A warrant was issued, and the Tacoma police gang unit arrested him Tuesday night, police spokesman Mark Fulghum said Wednesday.

They also charged Evelyn Louise Jordan Zarate, 23, with first-degree robbery in connection with the incident.

Charging documents gave this account:

Zarate went to the Humane Society on Aug. 30 and asked to see a pit bull named Chica. The dog had a history of being kenneled for bad behavior and was at the Humane Society because it allegedly attacked and killed a neighbor’s dog.

An employee led Zarate to the kennels, and she visited with Chica for about five minutes before leaving.

As Zarate left the building, Brant walked in and asked to see his dog. An employee took him to the kennels, and he stopped in front of Chica, He said he wanted the dog and when the employee said she belonged to someone else, Brant pulled out a knife and said, “Can I have it now?”

Brant handed the employee a leash, and the employee put it on the dog. Brant ordered the employee to stay put for five minutes, then headed out of the building.

Another employee noticed Brant leaving with the dog and thought it unusual because the Humane Society does not adopt out pit bulls. Brant ran through the door toward a red car where Zarate was in the driver’s seat. The employee confronted Brant, who warned that he had a knife.

Brant and Zarate drove off with Chica.

Later that day, officers stopped Zarate in the red car. Her 25-year-old boyfriend was driving a Bronco behind her. Chica and another dog were found inside the Bronco.

The boyfriend was cited for driving with a suspended license and his Bronco impounded. He later was charged with unlawful drug possession after methamphetamine, marijuana and prescription drugs were found in the Bronco.

Zarate initially denied knowing Brant but later said she did. She said he’d asked her to meet him at Humane Society so he could get his dog out.

“(She) stated that when Brant got in the car with the dog he held a knife to her neck and told her to drive,” charging documents state. “It was later that she realized the dog was Chica and not Brant’s dog.”

She said she let Brant out of her car and left.

Witnesses identified Brant as the robber after viewing photo montages, police said.