A bizarre story involving the killing of a dog by a runner unfolded in Belgium over the weekend. Police arrested the unnamed ultrarunner in the small city of Lokeren on Saturday following reports that he had killed a dog while out for a run the week before. The runner committed the act right in front of the dog’s owner, reportedly stabbing the three-year-old Jack Russell terrier (named Dribbel) before running away. He confessed to the crime when confronted by police and was placed under arrest, but after spending a night in prison, he was conditionally released.
Hardloper met de dood bedreigd, nadat hij al joggend scherp voorwerp in het hart van hondje Dribbel plantte (premium) https://t.co/YuquOR7MPh
— AD.nl (@ADnl) November 22, 2020
Julie De Corte, Dribbel’s owner, spoke to Belgian media after witnessing the killing of her dog. She said she was finishing a walk with Dribbel and decided to let him off-leash. “Hardly any people come here, and by the way, Dribbel has never hurt a fly,” she said. Just then, the runner appeared, and Dribbel walked over to check him out. De Corte reported that she told the man that Dribbel wouldn’t do anything to him, and even if the man had been worried about the dog, Jack Russels tend to weigh no more than 20 lbs, which doesn’t make for a very big threat. Even so, the next moment, the runner had a “sharp object” in his hand, which he used to stab the dog.
From Saturday, when he killed the dog, to Friday, there was a search for the killer, although police had no suspects. Instead, reports say they stopped and questioned all joggers in the area. The investigation didn’t truly take off until police released a photo of the ultrarunner, who is apparently well known around his community and was identified by multiple people. The runner is a member of the local running club, and he has reportedly recorded multiple top finishes in ultramarathons.
An article detailing the case says the runner in question deleted the Strava file from last Saturday that would have placed him at the scene of the crime, but these efforts to cover up his involvement in the killing were unnecessary, seeing as he reportedly admitted to everything when police questioned him at his house.
No more information from the case has been made public, as local authorities want to keep the news under wraps for the time being, although it is known that the ultrarunner has returned home.