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Prosecution pushed for sea lion stabbing suspect

August 01, 2007

The Humane Society of the United States on Tuesday weighed in on the case of a sea lion stabbed in Newport Beach, urging officials to diligently prosecute the man suspected of stabbing the animal.

Police arrested Hai Nguyen, 24, of Garden Grove Friday on suspicion of stabbing a sea lion that took the bait from his pole as he fished off the M Street Pier. The sea lion was euthanized at Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach.

In a letter to Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas, Dale Bartlett of the Humane Society asked that Rackauckas "diligently pursue this case and to seek, upon conviction, a meaningful sentence that includes jail time and mandatory psychological counseling."

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Bartlett cited research showing a link between violence against animals and people, and he said society members are "rightfully outraged" by the case.

Nguyen will be arraigned Sept. 10, and possible federal charges still are pending.

— Alicia Robinson

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