Washington Man Sexually Assaults Injured Beaver As Woman Tries to Save It

Stock image. A beaver in the wild. A man in Washington state is accused of having sex with a beaver that was hit by a car. iStock

A Washington man is accused of having sex with an injured beaver that a woman was attempting to save.

Kennewick Police Department said in a statement that officers responded to Columbia Park late in the evening on Labor Day for "a report of a transient male having sexual contact with a wild animal."

They detained Richard Martin Delp, 35, who was also found to be in possession of suspected methamphetamine.

According to KXLY, a woman saw a driver run the beaver over. She wrapped it in a towel and rushed home for a box to aid the injured animal.

But when she returned half an hour later, she saw a man lying next to the beaver with his pants unzipped.

The Tri-City Herald reported that the woman told police she wanted to take the beaver to a vet.

At first, she thought the man was trying to help the beaver when she saw him lying with it—then she realized what was really going on.

By the time police arrived, the beaver was dead. Delp was arrested on charges of first-degree animal cruelty and possession of a controlled substance. He was booked at Benton County Jail, where he is being held without bail.

Both charges are felonies. For first-degree animal cruelty, punishment on conviction can include a two-year jail sentence, a fine starting at $1,000 if it is the first violation, the forfeiture of animals in possession and a permanent ban on owning any similar animals.

Social media was by turns alarmed, disgusted and puzzled by the incident.

Responding to the police statement on Facebook, Lori L. Gussenhoven wrote: "Drug abuse is obviously the gateway to demon possession because nobody in their right mind would have sexual relations with an animal."

Becky Holden Oak wrote: "This is scary with innocent people of all ages in the park. Just makes me sick may this man get the proper medical/ psychological evaluation. This is a man that needs treatment not just time behind bars before released back into our community."

Darcy Sherman urged people to think of the beaver: "Those of you making fun of this are no better than the man that was arrested. It's the same immoral frame of mind. The beaver was hit by a car and from what I read he began to sexually assault the poor animal while it was still alive and in a tremendous amount of pain before passing on.

"No living thing deserves that. It's not funny. Not a laughing matter. If it happened to a human I'm sure there would be no joking."

Raina Hancock-Rigby, who appeared to know the suspect, was sympathetic. She responded: "Yes, this is horrific, yes, it's animal abuse/cruelty. But I hope he gets some mental health help in jail. This man has been on the streets for so long and had a very rough life when he was younger. He has suffered major mental health issues since prior to the drug use. So I hope he doesn't fall through another crack in the system."