HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Bond has been set for a suspect involved with the death of two flamingos at the Hattiesburg Zoo.
Devin Nottis, 19, was taken into custody by authorities Wednesday evening in connection with the crime. His bond was set at $17,300 for grand larceny, two counts of animal cruelty and trespassing. Bond was set by Judge Jerry Evans.
According to a press release issued by the Hattiesburg Police Department the suspects involved were local college students that were part of a fraternity and were pledges as well. According to the release, the students were part of a school fraternity scavenger hunt, but one of the students, Nottis, decided to take the flamingo instead of take a photo of the animal.According to Hattiesburg police officials, an additional nine people involved in the case could face conspiracy charges after the case is presented to the next grand jury. No names are being released at this time according to authorities, and more information will be made available pending the grand jury decision.
Nottis and the Delta Mu Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity (PIKE) were both suspended from USM, according to a news release issued from the Student Affairs Office.
During interim suspension, Nottis is prohibited from campus for any reason other than judicial proceedings with the University's Dean of Students Office, and is subject to arrest if found in violation of this order.
The chapter has been ordered to cease and desist all activities until further notice by the University. In addition, the national office of the fraternity has placed the chapter on administrative suspension, requiring that it cease operations for 30 days while executive officers determine its future, according to the release.
“The University is taking swift and appropriate action in response to this incident,” said Southern Miss Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Joe Paul. “This is a terrible and heinous act that has occurred, and inconsistent with the values of our institution.”After the incident, Devin Nottis tweeted "Craziest night in my life and that is an understatement. I just went down in the history books guys tell ya about it in a year lol or 2."
According to a Hattiesburg Police Department incident report, a stolen Chilean flamingo reported missing Tuesday morning was returned to the zoo with life-threatening injuries.
The injuries the animal sustained were so severe; the flamingo had to be euthanized.
Security camera footage showed four unidentified suspects entering the zoo around 1:00 a.m.
According to the report, an eye witness saw a group of people scaling the zoo fence around the same time carrying what appeared to be a large bird.
According to the report, the bird was found several miles from the zoo on Westover Drive near 4th Street after they received a call in reference to what appeared to be a pink flamingo on the side of the road.
Upon arrival, animal control took the bird from the scene and it was returned to the zoo.
According to the zoo, a second flamingo died from injuries sustained during the attack. The second death in the flamingo family is believed to be the mate of the female who was stolen and euthanized earlier this week.