A Broward circuit judge has ordered a man who stole a Chihuahua from outside a Wilton Manors bar to pay the dog's owner $1,200 in restitution.
Judge Matthew Destry on Thursday required Channing Bud Reynolds, 35, of Hereford, Pa., to pay the dog's owner the value of the pet, because the stolen dog never was found.
After the hearing, the dog's owner, Brian Dortort, 50, of Oakland Park, said he was disappointed because he would have preferred his dog back. He suspected that Reynolds wouldn't be able to afford restitution.
"I'm very dissatisfied," Dortort said.
Reynolds had been instructed to provide information leading to the retrieval of the dog after pleading no contest to grand theft Dec. 13. During his court case, Reynolds said a man named Jason was in possession of the dog, and provided two Fort Lauderdale addresses for Jason, but neither Jason nor the dog were found.
The female dog with a pink belly and pink earrings was stolen July 28, 2009, outside Georgie's Alibi in Wilton Manors, where Dortort was throwing a birthday party.
Reynolds, one of the Chihuahua's admirers, insisted he hold her. In an instant, Reynolds and the dog, Hudson Hayward Hemingway, were gone. Detectives identified Reynolds soon after, but no one knew where he was until last year, when he was arrested on DUI-related charges in Pennsylvania, police said.
He was extradited to Broward on the grand theft in August and then released from jail on probation.
On Thursday, when Reynolds didn't show for a restitution hearing he was told to attend, Destry considered ordering an arrest warrant for him. Instead, the judge held the hearing without him and imposed the restitution order.
If Reynolds doesn't pay restitution by March, it would be a probation violation and he would again be arrested, officials said.
Another hearing is scheduled for Tuesday to decide whether Reynolds should reimburse the Broward Sheriff's Office about $350, the cost of extraditing him to South Florida last year. Because a listed telephone number for Reynolds wasn't in service, he couldn't be reached for comment.