Grand Jury Indicts Nottis in Flamingo Case

A Forrest County grand jury indicted a former University of Southern Mississippi student accused of stealing a flamingo from the Hattiesburg Zoo in fall 2014.

Devin Nottis, a 19-year-old former student from Pascagoula, was arrested Oct. 8, 2014, on charges of grand larceny, trespassing and two counts of animal cruelty after he allegedly stole a Chilean flamingo as part of a fraternity scavenger hunt.

On Friday, a grand jury formally charged him of grand larceny and conspiracy, the Hattiesburg American reported.

A pledge of the Delta Mu chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha, popularly known as PIKE, Nottis took his fraternity’s scavenger hunt a step further by breaking into the zoo about 1:15 a.m. Oct. 7 and then stealing the flamingo, rather than taking a picture of it, authorities said. Hattiesburg police arrested Nottis, and Municipal Court Judge Jerry Evans set his bond at $17,300.

The university and Pi Kappa Alpha’s national organization took swift action to rectify the situation. Both Nottis and the fraternity chapter have since been suspended.

The official indictment said Nottis “did willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take, steal and carry away the personal property of the Hattiesburg Zoo pink flamingo, said property being of the value of $1,000 or more.”

Hattiesburg Police have said 10 suspects, all students, were involved in the deaths of the stolen female flamingo as well as her mate, as part of a Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity scavenger hunt.

Forrest County District Attorney Patricia Burchell said in December she would ask a grand jury to indict as many as nine of those involved, though so far only Nottis has been indicted, the Hattiesburg American reported.