Soccer Star Ordered to Pay $30,000 to Man Who Returned His Dog

Daniel Sturridge, an English soccer star, has been ordered to pay $30,000 to a Los Angeles man who discovered the participant’s lacking canine in 2019 and who went to courtroom to recoup a reward he stated he had been denied for the Pomeranian’s return.

After asserting that his Los Angeles residence had been damaged into, Mr. Sturridge stated in a video on the time that he would “pay whatever” to get his lacking canine again, providing “20 Gs, 30 Gs, whatever” as a reward with out specifying the foreign money.

Shortly after that video was posted, Foster Washington of Los Angeles discovered the canine, Lucci, and returned him to Mr. Sturridge, in accordance to courtroom information. But Mr. Washington, 30, stated he had by no means been paid, and in March, he filed a lawsuit for breach of contract.

On Tuesday, Judge Curtis A. Kin of the Los Angeles County Superior Court issued a default judgment, awarding $30,000 in damages to Mr. Washington.

Mr. Sturridge, a former England worldwide star who performed for Liverpool and Chelsea and is now a striker for the Australian crew Perth Glory, stated on Twitter on Saturday that “other people are trying to benefit for their own personal gain” and associated a narrative totally different from Mr. Washington’s about how the canine had been recovered.

“Just to let you know the truth on xmas!” Mr. Sturridge stated on Twitter. “I met a young boy who found my dog and paid him a reward, which he was delighted with as was I to get my dog back because he was stolen.”

Mr. Sturridge and his representatives didn’t instantly reply to emails on Saturday. Direct messages despatched to an Instagram account for Lucci, which has greater than 34,000 followers, weren’t returned.

It all began in July 2019, after Mr. Sturridge’s residence was damaged into and he found that Lucci was lacking.

“I want my dog back,” he said in a video, including: “How can you break into a house in L.A. and take somebody’s dog? Are you crazy?”

Mr. Washington, who earns $14 an hour as a safety guard and has three youngsters, stated he had been strolling residence when he and his greatest pal’s son noticed a canine close to 88th Street and South Central Avenue. The boy’s household couldn’t afford to have a pet, so Mr. Washington stated he had determined to take the canine residence.

A couple of hours later, a pal instructed Mr. Washington that Mr. Sturridge was looking for a canine that regarded comparable to the one he had taken in.

“He was like, ‘Hey, dude, that dog’s famous,’” Mr. Washington stated on Saturday. “And I’m like, ‘What?’” He stated he had no concept who Mr. Sturridge was on the time.

That day, Mr. Washington posted a photo of the dog on Twitter and requested Mr. Sturridge if it was Lucci.

Mr. Washington then contacted Kimberly Cheng from the Los Angeles news station KTLA. Mr. Washington stated she had related him with Mr. Sturridge’s representatives. Ms. Cheng didn’t reply to a request in search of touch upon Saturday.

The canine had a small tattoo of numbers on his abdomen, Mr. Washington stated. Mr. Sturridge requested Mr. Washington over the telephone to establish the mark to be sure that it was certainly Lucci, Mr. Washington stated.

They agreed to meet, and when Mr. Sturridge retrieved the canine, he thanked Mr. Washington.

“I’m like, ‘Hey, dude, what’s up with the reward?’” Mr. Washington stated. “He said, ‘There is no reward.’”

Mr. Washington tried to contact Mr. Sturridge, who joined Liverpool in 2013 on a contract reported to be worth about 12 million pounds (practically $20 million on the time), and his representatives quite a few occasions for weeks however to no avail. Mr. Washington stated his telephone quantity and social media accounts had been being blocked.

It was not instantly clear whether or not anybody was arrested in reference to the break-in or the theft of Lucci, who was described in courtroom papers as a uncommon Pomeranian value an estimated £4,000, or roughly $5,300. The Los Angeles police didn’t reply to messages on Saturday.

Mr. Washington went to the police, who “concluded that he was not one of the thieves, or related to the burglary crime in any way,” the lawsuit stated. “Mr. Washington has never been implicated in any wrongdoing.”

The lawsuit added that Mr. Washington “did not receive the benefit of his bargain for supplying the dog safely and in good health.”

Mr. Washington stated he had obtained direct messages on-line from individuals calling him egocentric for wanting to receives a commission, however in the course of the pandemic, as he struggled financially, he determined to file the lawsuit.

“I don’t see how I’m a bad guy by expecting him to honor this reward,” he stated, including: “Thirty thousand dollars is a lot of money. For anybody, that’s a life-changing amount of money.”

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