FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims To Show Article Reporting Teenage Pete Buttigieg Was Arrested For Killing Dogs

Jonathan Fonti | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook more than 500 times allegedly shows a South Bend Tribune article reporting that former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg got arrested for killing dogs as a teenager.

“Where is the MEDIA?” reads the caption.

Verdict: False

The South Bend Tribune debunked the snippet as fake. It was created using a newspaper clipping generator.

Fact Check:

A viral Facebook post allegedly shows an Aug. 30, 1998, South Bend Tribune article, titled, “Teen Arrested for Dog Slayings,” reporting that the former South Bend mayor was arrested for violence against dogs. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show A New York Times Article About Nevada Primary Polls)

“A local teen, Peter Buttigieg, has been arrested on suspicion of the recent killings of at least 5 dogs,” the alleged article reports. “Authorities say they were able to locate the suspected individual thanks to testimony of witnesses who saw the teen allegedly strangling a stray dog.”

The South Bend Tribune published a report Feb. 11 debunking the article as fake. The “bogus” article had several editorial and stylistic discrepancies that gave it away, including not having byline, dateline, or age or hometown for Buttigieg, according to the South Bend Tribune.

“The Tribune would not have named anyone ‘arrested on suspicion’ of the crimes in question before that person was charged,” wrote the South Bend Tribune. “That’s especially true of a 16-year-old, Buttigieg’s age on that date.”

Alan Achkar, the newspaper’s executive editor, shared the real front page of the newspaper published Aug. 30, 1998, on his Twitter.

According to the South Bend Tribune, a newspaper clipping generator was used to create the snippet about Buttigieg. @ComradeCrow, a Twitter user who shared it Feb. 8, admitted the clipping was a “joke” and reiterated that he was an “unreliable news source” in the comments.

Jonathan Fonti

Fact Check Reporter
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