ShareThis Page

Teens try to ride South Side Park donkey before assaulting it with rocks

Aaron Aupperlee
| Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, 3:30 p.m.
Hobo is a donkey that protects the herd of goats currently working in South Side Park. On Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, a group of teenagers jumped the fence surrounding the goats, tried to ride Hobo and then assaulted him with rocks. Hobo was not injured, Facebook posts indicate.
Hobo is a donkey that protects the herd of goats currently working in South Side Park. On Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, a group of teenagers jumped the fence surrounding the goats, tried to ride Hobo and then assaulted him with rocks. Hobo was not injured, Facebook posts indicate.
Hobo is a donkey that protects the herd of goats currently working in South Side Park. On Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, a group of teenagers jumped the fence surrounding the goats, tried to ride Hobo and then assaulted him with rocks. Hobo was not injured, Facebook posts indicate.
Hobo is a donkey that protects the herd of goats currently working in South Side Park. On Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, a group of teenagers jumped the fence surrounding the goats, tried to ride Hobo and then assaulted him with rocks. Hobo was not injured, Facebook posts indicate.

First someone destroyed their fence and now someone tried to ride their donkey.

It's been a rough month for the goats eating their way through wild grape vines at South Side Park in Pittsburgh's South Side Slopes neighborhood.

According to a post on South Side Park's Facebook page, a group of six teenage boys jumped the fence surrounding the goats around 8 p.m. Wednesday and tried to ride Hobo, the donkey that protects the goats.

The boys then assaulted the donkey with rocks, according to the post.

A comment from Allegheny GoatScape, the nonprofit providing the goat herd for the park, said the animals appeared to be doing fine.

"All of the animals seem OK, but also wanted to hang out a little more than usual this evening. Really appreciate the neighbors who are looking out for the herd; many thanks," the comment read with a photo of the herd hard at work attached.

Allegheny GoatScape posted on its Facebook page that it was hoping for a calm night.

Someone stole solar power equipment from the site and damaged the electric fence surrounding the goats on Aug. 1.

Colleen Lutz saw the boys from her back yard. She watched one climb over the fence. At first she thought it was a volunteer but then the boy tried to ride Hobo. The boy had a cellphone in his hand.

"Like he was trying to make a video," Lutz said. "Then he kept trying to get on the donkey, and then next thing I know there were a group of five or six other kids who came up to the valley and they looked up to no good."

Lutz first tried to call Allegheny GoatScape. Then she called police. She thinks she startled the boys, because they ran off and started throwing rocks at the herd. One rock hit one of the goats pretty hard, Lutz said.

"They were throwing them kind of hard, and they were big-sized rocks. I could see them from my back porch," Lutz said.

She called Allegheny GoatScape the next day to check on the goats. None were hurt but she heard that the goats weren't acting like themselves that day. They were clinging together, Lutz said.

"Which is understandable considering they had just been through that kind of trauma," Lutz said.

Lutz said police arrived and searched for the boys.

Lutz loves watching the goats. She hopes this incident doesn't dissuade people not to use them.

"I feel like they're my children," she said. "I feel like I have a piece of the country in the city. I could just sit there and watch them for hours."

South Side Park's Facebook post described the boys as 15- to 17-year-olds. There were two white boys and four black boys. One black boy was wearing blue jean shorts and a white T-shirt. Another boy was wearing shorts and a blue jersey with white letters. Comments indicated a neighbor saw the boys.

The post asked anyone with information to call 911 or the Pittsburgh police Zone 3 station at 412-488-8326.

Pittsburgh police didn't immediately respond to a request for more information.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.