Daniel Sturridge ordered to pay $ 30,000 to the man who returned his dog
Daniel Sturridge, an English football star, was ordered to pay $ 30,000 to a Los Angeles man who found the player’s missing dog in 2019 and went to court to recover an award he was denied for the return of the Pomeranian.
After announcing that his Los Angeles home had been broken into, Mr Sturridge said in a video at the time that he would “pay anything” to recover his missing dog, offering “20 Gs, 30 Gs, whatever” as a reward without specifying the motto.
Shortly after the video was posted, Foster Washington of Los Angeles found the dog, Lucci, and returned it to Mr. Sturridge, court records show. But Mr Washington, 30, said he was never paid, and in March he filed a breach of contract complaint.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Curtis A. Kin on Tuesday issued a default judgment, awarding Washington $ 30,000 in damages.
Mr Sturridge, a former England international star who played for Liverpool and Chelsea and is now a striker for Australia’s Perth Glory team, said on Twitter on Saturday that “other people are trying to take advantage of it for their own gain staff “and told a different story than Mr. Washington’s about how the dog had been retrieved.
“Just to let you know the truth about Christmas!” Mr. Sturridge said the Twitter. “I met a young boy who found my dog ââand paid him a reward, which he was delighted with, as was I to get my dog ââback because it was stolen.”
Mr Sturridge and his representatives did not immediately respond to emails on Saturday. Direct messages sent to an Instagram account for Lucci, which has more than 34,000 subscribers, were not returned.
It all started in July 2019, after Mr Sturridge’s home was broken into and he discovered Lucci was missing.
“I want to get my dog ââback” he said in a video, adding, “How can you break into a house in LA and pick up someone’s dog?” Are you insane?”
Mr Washington, who earns $ 14 an hour as a security guard and has three children, said he was walking home when he and his best friend’s son saw a dog near the 88th Street and South Central Avenue. The boy’s family couldn’t afford to have a pet, so Mr Washington said he decided to bring the dog home.
Hours later a friend told Mr. Washington that Mr. Sturridge was looking for a dog that looked like the one he had picked up.
“He was like, ‘Hey, man, that dog is famous,'” Washington said on Saturday. âAnd I’m like ‘What?’â He said he had no idea who Mr. Sturridge was at the time.
That day, Mr. Washington posted a photo of the dog on Twitter and asked Mr. Sturridge if it was Lucci.
Mr. Washington then contacted Kimberly Cheng of the Los Angeles news station KTLA. Mr Washington said she had put him in touch with Mr Sturridge’s representatives. Ms. Cheng did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday.
The dog had a small number tattoo on its stomach, Mr Washington said. Mr Sturridge asked Mr Washington over the phone to identify the mark to make sure it was Lucci, Mr Washington said.
They agreed to meet, and when Mr. Sturridge retrieved the dog, he thanked Mr. Washington.
âI’m like, ‘Hey man, what’s up with the award?’â Mr. Washington said. âHe said, ‘There is no reward. “
Mr Washington attempted to contact Mr Sturridge, who joined Liverpool in 2013 on a contract estimated at around Â£ 12million (nearly $ 20million at the time), and his representatives on several occasions for weeks, but in vain. Mr Washington said his phone number and social media accounts were blocked.
It was not immediately clear if anyone had been arrested in connection with the break-in or theft of Lucci, who was described in court documents as a rare Pomeranian with an estimated value of Â£ 4,000, or around $ 5,300. Los Angeles police did not respond to messages on Saturday.
Mr. Washington surrendered to the police, who “concluded that he was not one of the thieves, nor related in any way to the crime of burglary,” the lawsuit said. “Sir. Washington has never been involved in any wrongdoing.
The lawsuit added that Mr. Washington “did not take advantage of his market to provide the dog safely and in good health.”
Mr Washington said he had received direct messages online from people calling him selfish in wanting to be paid, but during the pandemic, as he struggled financially, he decided to take legal action. .
âI don’t see how I’m a villain expecting him to honor this award,â he said, adding, âThirty thousand dollars is a lot of money. For anyone, it’s a life-changing amount of money.