“Fugitive from justice” charge dropped, but carried lightest penalty
WASHINGTON D.C.––Denied bond on two counts of robbery for allegedly sticking up a Subway sandwich shop on January 20 and January 26, 2019, appearing before the Washington D.C. Superior Court in jumpsuit and handcuffs, Animal Rescue Corps founder Scotlund Haisley, 50, on February 6, 2019 won dismissal of a “fugitive from justice” charge that had been the least serious of the charges pending against him.
The dismissal was anticipated by the prosecution. Conviction on the “fugitive from justice” charge carried a maximum penalty of one year in prison. Conviction on each of the robbery counts carries a potential penalty of two to fifteen years in prison, or up to 30 years in prison if a deadly weapon is found to have been used.
Six months of escalating trouble
Haisley had been in continuously escalating legal and personal difficulty at least since August 16, 2018, when Animal Rescue Corps chief operations officer Tim Woodward asked him, on behalf of the ARC board of directors, to account for “approximately $61,000 in expenses in question from the preceding four months.”
Haisley made no apparent effort to respond, according to Woodward in an October 25, 2018 termination letter.
Instead, on September 27, 2018, Nick Beres of Scripps Media Inc., who had often before done puff pieces on Haisley, reported that Haisley was “stepping away from day-to-day operations” at Animal Rescue Corps “to care for himself. The ARC leader faces possible liver failure,” Beres wrote, “possibly linked to his years of rescuing animals from toxic living conditions.”
The latter appears to have been purely speculation. Intensive exposure to ammonia fumes can cause liver failure, but liver failure attributed primarily to ammonia inhalation experienced on the job is rare even among factory farm workers who are exposed to high levels of atmospheric ammonia all day, every day.
“Messy home” led to mayhem
Three weeks later, on October 18, 2018, Haisley was arrested in Takoma Park, Maryland, for alleged domestic violence.
According to the arrest report, complainant Lynne Haisley, wife of Scotlund Haisley for 16 years and mother of their three minor children, told responding police officers that “She and her husband began arguing over the messiness of their home. Lynne Haisley explained that her husband, Scotlund Haisley, didn’t want to help her clean the house. According to Lynne Haisley, the argument became physical and her husband struck her approximately five times with a closed fist. Then he grabbed her by the neck, and began choking her. Ms. Haisley could not recall if he used one or two hands to choke her. Ms. Haisley estimated that her husband choked her for 30-60 seconds.
Kicking & biting
“Ms. Haisley was eventually able to kick Mr. Haisley off of her,” she told police, “but then he bit her on the right arm. After this, Mr. Haisley began to calm down and Ms. Haisley fled the residence and ran to a neighbor’s house.
“Ms. Haisley had a bruise on her forehead, above her left eye,” the police report continued. “She also had a mark on her right forearm. Both injuries were photographed. When asked, Ms. Haisley stated that she did not require medical care.”
The responding police officers waited while Lynne Haisley collected essential items from the Haisley home.
“White powder residue”
“As Ms. Haisley was leaving the home,” the arrest report said, to go to a safe location, “Mr. Haisley returned. Mr. Haisley was placed under arrest, into handcuffs, and searched.”
Police “located a needle cap in Mr. Haisley’s right pants watch pocket. In a side cargo pocket on the right leg, another syringe cap was located. Both caps contained a small amount of a white powder residue. The caps were properly packaged and later submitted into evidence for analysis. Mr. Haisley could not remember if he had additional syringes on his person.”
Noticing “several open wounds on Mr. Haisley’s wrists,” one of the responding police officers “asked him if he had any communicable diseases. Mr. Haisley then stated that he had hepatitis C,” the police report said. “He also stated that he has stage 4 cirrhosis and that it is a terminal illness,” although it can be controlled with appropriate medication for many years.
Mr. Haisley was transported to [Washington Adventist Hospital] to receive medications and to be treated for heroin withdrawal symptoms.
“Scotlund Haisley gave officers consent to search his vehicle and signed a written consent form,” the arrest report finished. “During the search, officers located approximately 30 syringes, two vials of suspected heroin, and a scale. All of the contraband was packaged according to departmental policy and the relevant items were submitted for analysis.”
Scotlund Haisley was reportedly released after the October 18, 2018 arrest on $5,000 bond.
Final Protective Order
The October 18, 2018 arrest resulted in a Final Protective Order issued by the District Court of Montgomery County, Maryland on December 20, 2018.
The Final Protective Order stated that Haisley “SHALL NOT abuse, threaten to abuse, and/or harass the petitioner and others to be protected,” and “SHALL NOT contact the protected parties by any means, except as stated in this order,” to be in effect until December 20, 2019.
“Respondent has admitted to longtime and recent history of heroin and cocaine abuse. Petitioner placed in fear when respondent is under the influence,” noted the Final Protective Order.
Scotlund Haisley was also ordered to stay away from the three Haisley children and the schools they attend. Scotlund Haisley was granted supervised visitation rights, was ordered to surrender any firearms in his possession to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, and was further ordered to “participate in and meet the requirements of” a domestic violence counseling program.
Judge Holly D. Reed also ordered that Lynne Haisley, as petitioner, “shall enroll in and successfully complete a drug addiction/counseling program.”
ANIMALS 24-7 was told by a Haisley relative that “Scotlund violated the Final Protective Order shortly after it was issued, on December 20, and then on January 4, 2019, physically assaulted Lynne in her condo. He was arrested again on January 11, 2019, this time in Washington D.C. by the D.C. police. He was released from the D.C. jail on Jan. 12 and there are presently two Maryland warrants outstanding related to his January 4, 2019 assault and violation of the December 20, 2018 Final Protective Order.”
At least 8 employers in 23 years
All of that was preliminary to the two alleged armed robberies of the Subway sandwich shop in the 4400 block of Connecticut Avenue in Washington D.C.
Haisley appears to have begun a 23-year career in animal rescue work with PETA, moving on at frequent intervals to other employers including the American SPCA, the New York City Center for Animal Care & Control, and the Peninsula Humane Society in San Mateo, California.
Haisley rose to take leadership positions at the Washington Animal Rescue League, the Humane Society of the United States, and In Defense of Animals, before forming Animal Rescue Corps in January 2011.
“The man was a sick SOB”
But persistent allegations of drug and alcohol abuse have followed Haisley at almost every stop, reaching ANIMALS 24-7 first during his time in New York City.
“Learning he has a heroin addiction is no surprise to me,” a retired law enforcement officer volunteered in response to ANIMALS 24-7 coverage of the alleged Subway robbery, “as I was sure he was using at his time of employment at the Peninsula Humane Society,” in 1996-1997.
“He never was interested or spent any time with any animals at the Peninsula Humane Society,” the retired law enforcement officer said. “He was 100% about chasing skirts and abusing his power. The man was a sick SOB.”