Lady Gaga is often accompanied by her dogs at award shows and film premieres. [Source: BBC Entertainment]
The alleged gunman in the violent theft of Lady Gaga’s bulldogs has been arrested after his mistaken release from custody earlier this year.
In February 2021, attackers shot dog walker Ryan Fischer in the chest and took Gaga’s dogs, Koji and Gustav.
James Howard Jackson, 19, was accidentally released in what the US Marshals Service described as a “clerical error”.
Five months on, police say he has now been arrested.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had offered a reward of up to $5,000 (£4,105) for information leading to his arrest, saying that he should be considered “armed and dangerous.”
One of the other men involved, Jaylin Keyshawn White, was on Wednesday sentenced to four years in prison at a Los Angeles court where he had pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery.
The 20-year-old had been charged alongside Jackson, and Lafayette Shon Whaley, now 28.
The star’s third bulldog, Miss Asia (pictured) escaped unharmed. [Photo: BBC Entertainment]
Surveillance footage from the scene of the attack shows a car stopping near Ryan Fischer and two people jumping out.
One demanded that the dog walker “give it up” before a struggle in which a gunshot could be heard, and the dog walker was seen falling to the ground screaming.
The attackers grabbed one dog each and left Fischer shouting for help, with the third dog, Asia, running back to the dog walker after the robbers drove away.
Ryan Fischer later described Asia as his “guardian angel” who gave him the determination to survive.
Lady Gaga offered a $500,000 (£359,000) reward for the return of the animals, whose theft highlighted a growing trend targeting the valuable breed.
The woman who handed the dogs in was charged with receiving stolen goods and being an accessory after the fact.
Ryan Fischer sustained chest injuries in the attack and said on Instagram a month later he had suffered a collapsed lung and had to have part of his lung removed.
Los Angeles police said at the time they did not believe the dogs had been targeted because of their owner, but because of the value of the breed on the black market.
With stars such as Lady Gaga, Reese Witherspoon, Chrissy Teigen and Leonardo DiCaprio having the breed, authorities say it they can change hands for thousands of dollars.