Wanted: Vandals who killed prized Windsor Koi

The large fish, named Monstro after a character in Pinocchio, was a popular attraction at Chinois Asian Bistro, which fronts Windsor River Road on the Town Green.

The surveillance video shows murky images of three boys pelting Monstro with landscape lights they ripped from beneath the bamboo hedge that surrounds the outdoor patio and with boulders they grabbed from a business adjacent to the restaurant.

The attack, which began at about 7 p.m. on Sept. 11, when the restaurant was closed, lasted nearly eight minutes, and went undetected by motorists traveling only feet away.

An employee discovered Monstro the following morning, barely alive and floating upside down in a water fountain. The fish died three days later in a garden pond where it had been taken in hopes that it would recover from its injuries.

“He suffered,” said Debbie Shu, who co-owns Chinois with her sister, Kelly Shu, and Kelly’s husband, Chang Liow.

The family provided a copy of the surveillance video to The Press Democrat and is also offering a $500 reward in an attempt to identify the boys.

They say the senseless brutality of the attack is what has them most upset.

“It’s a fish today, but what is it going to be tomorrow?” Kelly Shu wrote in a letter to the editor submitted to the Windsor Times.

Debbie Shu said she rescued Monstro from a muddy pond outside of Sebastopol three years ago. At Chinois, the fish thrived in the water fountain on the outdoor patio. In rare cases, Koi can live to be 200 years old. Monstro was thought to be about 20.

Roger Rude, a retired Sonoma County sheriff’s lieutenant who is a longtime friend of the restaurant owners, built the fountain and also installed the surveillance camera that captured the attack.

In the video, the boys are seen stealing in and out of the hedge and raising their arms to hurl objects at the fish.

“It was a blatant, violent attack with the intent of killing the fish,” Rude said.

He said the attack also caused about $1,000 in damages, a figure that includes the estimated cost of replacing Monstro.

The family said their initial hope was to find the boys who were responsible for the attack and work with them on atoning for their actions without having to involve the criminal justice system.

Someone who was shown the video thought that he recognized one of the boys who took part in the attack. But Rude said the boy, who is an 8th-grader at Windsor Middle School, denied any involvement in an interview with a police officer.

Windsor Police Chief Chris Spallino did not return several messages left for him this week.

Chinois’ owners are now looking for help from the public. Anyone with information is asked to phone the restaurant at 838-4667.

“We want justice for the fish,” Debbie Shu said. “Since no one will cop to it, we want names, and we want those names out there.”

Article source: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110930/ARTICLES/110939925/1350?Title=Wanted-Vandals-who-killed-prized-Windsor-Koi

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