Marine Corps investigates puppy-throwing video; Monroe man target of rage, threats

The video is upsetting: A man who appears to be a U.S. Marine in Iraq holds a puppy up to the camera, throws the yelping animal into a gully and shrugs.

Now a Monroe man is the target of rage and death threats after the video appeared on YouTube and started drawing worldwide attention Monday. Comments left at YouTube claim he is the Marine in the video.

As more people watched the video throughout the day, some posted personal information about the Monroe man and encouraged others to commit acts of cyber-vigilantism against him.

The family’s phone numbers had been disconnected as of Monday, and Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies have been told of the existing threats.

While the sheriff’s office hasn’t yet received any reports of harassment, “if the serviceman has family in our area being harassed, that is not something we would tolerate at all,” spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said.

The Herald is not publishing the man’s name because of the many questions surrounding the video.

No one can say yet whether the 17-second video is a hoax or really shows a live puppy being killed. It’s unclear where the video was created and who actually shot the video or posted it on the Internet.

Meanwhile, the video is being investigated by the U.S. Marine Corps, Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii. A Marine Corps spokeswoman in the Pentagon said they learned of the video on Monday morning.

In a statement, the Marines said the video is “shocking and deplorable and is contrary to the high standards we expect of every Marine.”

“We do not tolerate this type of behavior and will take appropriate action,” according to the statement.

The video is blurry and it’s difficult to tell whether the puppy is a toy or real, alive or dead. It dangles motionless as the man who appears to be a Marine holds it by the scruff of the neck and shows it to the camera. The animal makes no sound.

“Cute little puppy, huh?” the man says, smiling.

“Aww so cute, so cute, little puppy,” someone else says from off camera.

“Uh, uh, uh, I tripped,” the man says.

He then turns and throws something into the gully. The object tumbles through the air end over end. Yelping sounds are heard, but it’s unclear where the sounds were coming from.

From off screen, someone says “That’s mean. That’s mean…” and then uses the Monroe man’s last name.

A profile for a man with that name on, a social networking site, said he was a Marine serving in Iraq, but was expecting to be transferred to Hawaii. The site was taken down Monday afternoon.

A man with the same name was a junior at Monroe High School in 2003 and graduated from the Monroe School District’s Leaders In Learning alternative high school program in June of 2004, according to district records.

A woman at the home listed for the Marine declined to talk.

“Could you just leave? We already know why you’re here,” the woman said. “Just go. There’s nothing to say.”

The video has stirred strong emotions, and people have flooded cyberspace with comments about the Marine. It’s not unusual that people chastise or denigrate others on the Internet, said Mike Andrew, vice president of training and forensic analyst for the CyberSecurity Institute in Monroe. The institute trains state and federal law enforcement and military agencies as well as corporations on security over the Internet.

“When cyber-vigilantism comes along, people slide under the radar and they release things, thinking that they are untraceable,” Andrew said.

Law enforcement officials can track down and subpoena those who commit cyber-vigilantism or cyber-bullying, Andrew said.

The video has also raised questions among those who have watched it.

At The Herald’s request, veterinarians at Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine agreed to review the video.

They cannot determine whether the puppy was real. One did note that it appeared to leave the frame of the video for a second and the people in the video could have switched it with a fake dog.

“If this is something legitimate, it’s one of the most egregious acts of animal cruelty I have ever seen, if not the most,” said Dr. Matt Mickas, chief of Community Practice Services at WSU’s veterinary college.

He said it did not appear fake to him, because of the way the animal went slack by being held from the neck.

“To me, the sound on the YouTube clip sounded like a puppy in distress — the same sound we hear when the puppies come into the hospital,” Mickas said.

In their statement, the Marines acknowledged that the video could tarnish the image of America’s servicemen and women: “There have been numerous stories of Marines adopting pets and bringing them home from Iraq or helping to arrange life-saving medical care for Iraqi children.

“Those are the stories that exemplify what we stand for and how most Marines behave.”

Herald writers Eric Stevick and Jim Haley contributed to this report.

Reporter Yoshiaki Nohara: 425-339-3029 or

Talk to us

More in Local News

Two snowboarders head up the mountain in a lift chair on the opening day of ski season at Stevens Pass Ski Area on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, near Skykomish, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Ski season delayed at Stevens Pass due to minimal snow

Resort originally planned to open Dec. 1. But staff are hopeful this week’s snow will allow guests to hit the slopes soon.

Siblings Qingyun, left, and Ruoyun Li, 12 and 13, respectively, are together on campus at Everett Community College on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, in Everett, Washington. The two are taking a full course load at the community college this semester. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Siblings, age 12 and 13, are youngest students at EvCC campus

Qingyun Li was 11 when he scored a perfect 36 on the ACT test. His sister, Ruoyun, was one point away.

Edmond’s newly elected mayor Mike Rosen on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mayor-elect Rosen wants to ‘make Edmonds politics boring again’

Mike Rosen handily defeated incumbent Mayor Mike Nelson. He talked with The Herald about how he wants to gather the “full input” of residents.

A speed camera facing west along 220th Street Southwest on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Traffic cameras, and tickets, come to Edmonds; Mukilteo could be next

New school zone cameras in Edmonds will begin operating in January. Mukilteo is considering enforcement cameras as well.

A person walks their dog along a flooded Old Snohomish Monroe Road on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Flood-resistant floors and sandbags are price of riverside life in Sultan

Flooding is a threat every year for 75,000 locals — and the long-term forecast suggests it’ll only get worse in the coming decades.

Everett Community College is introducing a new Trojan design as the college's symbol of student spirit and athletics. The design incorporates the Feather Star, EvCC's official logo, in the Trojan's cape.  (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Amid staffing crisis, student nurses run into shortages in education too

Everett Community College’s nursing program has 79 slots. Hundreds apply each year — and that’s just the first hurdle.

A family walks through the Wintertide lights Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at Legion Park in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Wintertide Lights returns for the month of December in Everett

The free family event is open nightly at Evergreen Arboretum and Gardens in Legion Park.

The Safeway store at 4128 Rucker Ave., on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Mike Henneke / The Herald)
Police: Everett Safeway ex-worker accused of trying to ram customers

The man, 40, was showing symptoms of psychosis, police wrote. Officers found him circling another parking lot off Mukilteo Boulevard.

Ferries pass during a crossing from the Mukilteo Ferry Terminal and the Clinton Terminal on Monday, April 26, 2021 in Mukilteo, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Mukilteo-Clinton ferry gets grant for renovations focused on walk-ons

The $4.8 million grant from the feds will be split between six aging Washington ferries, to improve the vessels’ interiors.

An order is delivered to one of the first cars at Chick-Fil-A's store in Marysville on its opening day Thursday on May 21, 2020. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Chicken with a side of traffic: Everett Mall Chick-fil-A opens Dec. 7

The new Everett Mall Way restaurant is the popular chain’s fifth Snohomish County location. Openings often cause traffic backups.

A suspected gas explosion on Wednesday destroyed a house in the 19700 block of 25TH DR SE in Bothell, Washington. (Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue)
Gas explosion destroys freshly sold Bothell house; no injuries

The vacant home, purchased days earlier, blew up Wednesday on 25th Drive SE, throwing a garage door across the street.

Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell speaks during a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the 196th ST SW Improvement Project near the 196th and 44th Ave West intersection in Lynnwood, Washington on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Jarred by anti-Semitic rants, Lynnwood council approves tax increase

Three people spewed hate speech via Zoom at a council meeting this week. Then, the council moved on to regular business.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.