SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) _ A Mount Holyoke College security guard who claimed he rescued a goat from rustlers on St. Patrick's Day, only to be confronted by a shotgun-toting farmer, has been cleared of theft charges.

A Springfield District Court jury found Eduardo Valentin, 27, innocent Wednesday after five minutes of deliberation. The case was moved to Springfield after Valentin sought jury review of his conviction by a Palmer District Court judge.

Ludlow farmer William Livermore said he apprehended Valentin headed for his car with the bleating goat under his arm shortly after 1 a.m. on March 17.

Valentin maintained that he had been on his way home when he spotted two men in the woods carrying what appeared to be a child. When he got out of the car and yelled ''police'' the men dropped what they were holding, which turned out to be the goat, and fled, Valentin said.