Why The Woman Who Returned Lady Gaga's Dogs For A $500,000 Reward Was Arrested

Photo: Lev Radin / Shutterstock
Lady Gaga

Five suspects were arrested and charged on Tuesday, April 27, for their alleged connection with the shooting of Lady Gaga’s dog walker and theft of two of her dogs in February, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

In February, Lady Gaga’s dogwalker, Ryan Fischer, was shot in the chest. Two of her dogs, Koji and Gustav, were stolen. A third dog, Miss Asia, ran away and was later found before being returned.

Stefani Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, announced on her Instagram that a $500,000 reward would be given to whoever returned her precious French bulldogs.

At the time, a woman told police she found the dogs tied to a pole in an alley, and they were safely returned to Gaga.

Who are the suspects and what are the Los Angeles Police Department saying?

Three of the suspects — 18-year-old James Jackson, Jaylin White, 19, and Lafayette Whaley, 27 — were arrested on charges of attempted murder. The other two suspects — Harold White, 40 and Jennifer McBride, 50 — were charged with accessory to attempted murder. McBride, it turns out, is the woman who allegedly "found" the dogs and brought them to the police.

After the dogs were turned in, detectives found a link between McBride and the father of one of the attempted murder suspects, according to police.

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“Detectives do not believe the suspects were targeting the victim because of the dogs' owner. However, evidence suggests the suspects knew the great value of the breed of dogs and was the motivation for the robbery,” an LAPD news release stated.

LA County District Attorney George Gascón said in a press release that some of the suspects are facing additional charges. Jackson is charged with assault with a semiautomatic firearm and as a felon carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle. White faces a charge of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury for his attack on Fischer.

According to the district attorney, White was also charged with possession of a firearm and McBride faces a charge of receiving stolen property.

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What happened to Lady Gaga’s dog walker?

Fischer, who’s a close friend of the singer and actress, was hospitalized following the robbery and shooting

Miss Asia avoided the dognapping and curled up next to Fischer as his “blood poured” out on the sidewalk, according to his Instagram post following the shooting. 

The accident, which Fischer recalled as “a close call with death" and involved needing part of his lung removed, was all caught on surveillance footage from a nearby house. 

“This was a brazen street crime that left a man seriously wounded,” Gascón said. “We have alleged very serious charges in this case and have faith that justice will be appropriately served as this case unfolds in court.”

While in the hospital, Fischer thanked his fans on social media for their support and love as well as Lady Gaga who showed nothing but support to her friend.

“Your babies are back and the family is whole... we did it! You have shown so much support throughout this whole crisis to both me and my family. But your support as a friend, despite your own traumatic loss from your kids, was unwavering. I love you and thank you,” Fischer wrote.

Thankfully, Lady Gaga’s dog walker and close friend is now home.

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What’s going to happen next for the suspects?

The five suspects were arraigned on Thursday but it is not yet known if they have retained legal representation.

It is reported that the suspects have all pleaded not guilty to the charges they each face. 

They are set to return to court on May 11 for a preliminary hearing. Police say that the investigation is still ongoing.

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Tomás Diniz Santos is a writer living in Orlando, Florida. He covers news, entertainment, and pop-culture topics.