Arrest warrant is issued for Sturridge over reward for missing dog

EXCLUSIVE: Arrest warrant is issued for ex-Liverpool star Daniel Sturridge after failing to appear in Los Angeles court over $30,000 reward allegedly owed to man who found his missing dog in 2019

  • Daniel Sturridge’s dog was stolen from his LA home before making an appeal 
  • A man found the dog but claimed he was not given the reward he was promised
  • An arrest warrant has now been issued for the ex-Liverpool forward  

An arrest warrant has been issued for Daniel Sturridge after he failed to appear in a Los Angeles court over money he allegedly owes to a man who says he found his dog.

The former England striker, 34, publicly offered a reward for the safe return of his pet Pomeranian in July 2019 after revealing it had been stolen from his house in LA.

Foster Washington, an American rapper known as Killa Fame, took credit for reuniting Sturridge with his dog Lucci, but said he did not receive the promised payment, leading him to launch a civil lawsuit.

In December 2021, an LA court ordered Sturridge to pay Washington $30,000 (£24,400) following a default judgment, which came after the ex-Liverpool star did not respond to the complaint.

The Sky Sports pundit – who has not been seen on screen since the first Super Sunday show of the season – was called back to court last month for a ‘debtor’s exam’, where he was meant to answer questions on his finances.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Sky Sports pundit Daniel Sturridge after he failed to appear in court over a man’s claim he was not given a reward for finding his dog in 2019

The former Liverpool striker was left distraught after Lucci was snatched at his home in LA and made an appeal offering $30,000 for its safe return 

However, Sturridge did not attend and court documents seen by Mail Sport show he has now been served a bench warrant – a summons issued by a judge to arrest a defendant and bring them before court. A new hearing has been set for November 30.

Sturridge’s representatives did not respond to Mail Sport’s requests for comment. 

Sturridge posted about the dispute on X, formerly Twitter, following the initial court ruling in December 2021.

He wrote: ‘Just to let you know the truth at Christmas. I met a young boy who found my dog and paid him a reward, which he was delighted with, as was I to get my dog back because he was stolen.

‘Other people are trying to benefit for their own personal gain. Thank you to the young boy once again. I’m very grateful Lucci is back with our family.’

An American rapper responded to the post and uploaded several images of the dog being held in a car seat  

 Foster Washington claimed Sturridge ‘thought he was above the law’ and said his legal challenge was ‘a matter of principle’

But Washington, who claims he has spent more than $10,000 on legal fees, told Mail Sport. ‘For me, it’s a point of principle. He promised me the money. It’s a substantial amount of money that could change my family’s life.

‘He thinks he is above the law. He thinks because he’s rich he doesn’t have to respond to what’s going on. That’s why I had to have the judge issue a warrant so he has to pay the money.’

Thomas Scully, Washington’s lawyer, added: ‘A lot of people just decide to ignore lawsuits for whatever reason and a lot of times they get away with it because they don’t have any money.

‘But it doesn’t seem that Daniel Sturridge should get away with it. He has the money to pay and he has the money to hire a lawyer. He just doesn’t feel like it.

‘He probably doesn’t feel like he is beholden to California courts and so he is probably just going to continue ignoring it.

Sturridge is known for playing for Liverpool and England but has since retired from football

Sturridge pictured playing for the England  team in 2016 — he picked up 26 senior caps

‘But I have some other tools in the Californian civil procedure and I am going to keep on trying to pursue with that. This isn’t the end of the story. I am certainly not giving up yet.’ 

Sturridge’s last professional match was for Perth Glory in the Australian A-League in April 2022, although he has never declared he has retired.

Sky announced him as a new pundit at the start of this season and he made an instant impression on his debut, with viewers wondering why he has not appeared since the opening weekend in August.

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