Bryan A. Cavanah is shown in a photo provided by the Fairfield Police Department.

Bryan A. Cavanah is shown in a photo provided by the Fairfield Police Department.


Trial begins for man accused of drowning dog

By From page A4 | February 05, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A jury trial got underway Tuesday for a Fairfield man who faces an animal abuse charge for allegedly drowning his dad’s dog in the Fairfield Civic Center pond.

Bryan A. Cavanah, 21, has pleaded not guilty to the felony charge.

Witnesses told police they thought Cavanah was playing with the pit bull terrier in the water on the morning of Aug. 11, 2013, until they said he held the dog under the water and it drowned.

Cavanah’s father previously said his son suffers from epilepsy and sometimes has trance-like seizures. He said he believes the dog drowning was accidental.

Among the dozens of potential jurors was Fairfield Mayor Harry Price, who watched the proceedings and answered questions before being removed as a possible juror late in the afternoon. Price’s City Hall office overlooks the pond.

The trial is scheduled to resume Wednesday morning.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 3 comments

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  • BFebruary 05, 2014 - 2:31 pm

    I still cant believe no one tried to intervene here. This kid obviously needs some mental help.

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  • CD BrooksFebruary 05, 2014 - 3:37 pm

    B, I seem to recall this as one of those things where even the witnesses did not see what was happening until it was too late. There were the usual "if I was there stuff," but nobody did anything. That is a slippery slope. I would not recommend anyone step in unless they're prepared to deal with such an individual. There could be severe consequences if you're incapable and possible legal repercussions for your trouble. The bottom line is that he was captured and will have to answer for his behavior.

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  • BFebruary 05, 2014 - 4:08 pm

    From what I recall of the witness statements, they thought initially he was playing with the dog and then could see him holding it under water. I like to at least think I wouldn't just stand there and watch something like that. Then again its easy to say from behind a computer screen. Hopefully the dude gets the help he needs if this is a mental issue and it was not just animal abuse.

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