SJ Man Charged in Tortoise Stabbing, Preschool Break-In

A man accused of breaking into a San Jose preschool and stabbing a tortoise named Michelangelo has been charged and jailed without bail.

Prosecutors say 40-year-old George Robles attacked the class pet at Play ‘n Learn’s garden earlier this month. The tortoise sustained serious injuries, but it recovering after receiving care from a local veterinarian.

The suspect stands accused of felony animal abuse, commercial burglary and vandalism.

According to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, he faces prison time if convicted. Robles is due for arraignment at 1:35pm Wednesday in Department 24 of the Hall of Justice in San Jose.

“Our thoughts are with the children and teachers at Play ‘n’ Learn,” DA Jeff Rosen said in a prepared statement. “We will work diligently to protect that preschool and get accountability for the innocent victims of a heartless and heartbreaking crime.”

Authorities say the crimes began on Jan. 27, when security footage caught Robles sneaking into the preschool through an unlocked door around 5am before making off with $1,800 worth of computers, iPad Minis and other electronics.

A few days later, according to police, a concerned citizen called 9-1-1 to report hearing glass breaking at the school. When the owner arrived, she reportedly found the tortoise impaled with a stick.

“Police found the defendant nearby,” a press release from the DA’s office recounts. “An arresting officer filed a request for the magistrate to review bail, because the alleged crime was eligible under emergency Covid rules for immediate release. The request was denied, and the defendant was released.”

The next day, close to 7pm on Jan. 28, Robles allegedly forced his way into the preschool again, this time pilfering another $1,000 in computers and groceries—all in full view of security cameras. When the owner arrived the next morning, Robles reportedly fled.

San Jose police arrested Robles on Jan. 29 near the school.

“This time,” the DA’s announcement continued, “after a hearing, the defendant was remanded without bail.”

5 Comments

  1. I can see all the leftwing compassion leaking across the floor here, but if he had just stabbed a few kids I’m sure he’d have been released without bail.

  2. SJ Kulak: yes, homeless, stabbing a tortoise? Mentally ill seems likely.

    But probably he’ll see jail time; more suffering for him and those he encounters. Another argument to re-fund police–more $ for mental health services.

    Holding the mentally ill in the penal system is a failure of governance that has been a problem for the police, who have been forced to apply the skills and knowledge they have–inappropriately.

  3. “Police found the defendant nearby,” a press release from the DA’s office recounts. “An arresting officer filed a request for the magistrate to review bail, because the alleged crime was eligible under emergency Covid rules for immediate release. The request was denied, and the defendant was released.”

    Just who is this magistrate that allowed the release of this deranged suspect, who was a clear danger to everyone, human and reptile. There needs to be some accountability here, and naming bureaucrats who do not act in the general safety and welfare of the public is not a protected class.

    Local journalism has become so soft on progressive leaders and their affiliates that they rarely challenge them when issues like this demand further probing. Lack of accountability and transparency is going to kill the progressive movement.

  4. I hope the owners of the tortoise find him a new home. It seems very risky to bring the tortoise back to the preschool now that the world knows where the tortoise lives. While hopefully there aren’t more crazed tortoise killers out there, he is certainly vulnerable to being stolen by someone who wants an exotic pet or thinks the tortoise is valuable. If his owners really love him, they will find him a new home at an undisclosed location.