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Tag: arrest

Leashing the wife: Not advisable


A Maryland man police say was leading his wife around by a dog leash at the York Fair in Pennsylvania was charged with simple assault.

West Manheim Township police filed the charge against 66-year-old Walter W. Wolford, of Hagerstown, on Saturday, according to Penn Live.

Police said Wolford, of Hagerstown, had his wife, Catherine, attached to a red nylon dog leash and yanked the leash, causing her head to jerk back, resulting in red marks around her throat.

Wolford told officers said he only gently tugged on the leash, which he told investigators he used to keep his wife, who suffers from late-stage dementia, from getting lost.

Officer Bradley J. Cleck said in reports that he was called to the York Fair to investigate the incident and saw that Catherine Wolford had red marks on her throat.

He tried to speak to her, but she did not know where she was, or her name, he said.

Walter Wolford told the officer he was embarrassed about the situation. He explained that when the couple visited the fair last year, she had wandered away and was lost for 90 minutes. He said he put her on a leash to prevent that from happening again.

He originally attached the leash to her waist, but it somehow moved up around her neck, he told the officer. He said he had only “gently tugged on the leash so she would stop.”

After consulting with the York Area Agency on Aging and the district attorney’s office, police charged Wolford with simple assault.

He is set for a preliminary hearing Sept. 28.

The York Fair, billed as “America’s First Fair,” is has been held on on the first Friday after Labor Day for more than 250 years.

(Photo: York County Fair from Pennlive.com)

Your dog is loyal — your smartphone is not

If you have a few years on you, you remember the stool pigeon from old black and white movies.

He was a jumpy fellow, usually, maybe with a twitch, ready to rat out a fellow con in exchange for a few bucks, a bottle of gin, or a break on his sentence.

He was usually less than totally trustworthy, and he usually came to a bad end.

In today’s full color, technology-obsessed world, there’s a new, far more reliable, stool pigeon.

He’s far easier to access than meeting up in a smoky bar. He has a photographic memory. He has the goods on you. And he’ll dish that information out to the coppers with just the push of a few buttons.

He is generally one of two varieties — Apple or Android.

When Pennsylvania State Police in Harrisburg found the bodies of two boxer mixes near the roadway, and learned through a tip who they belonged to, the suspect’s cell phone provided virtually all the information needed to make their case.

On it, they found texts to his wife which included his messages that “someone called the cops and told them I killed them” and “do not tell the state police anything.”

They also found he had been googling — 82 incriminating cell phone searches that included “how to destroy your house pet,” “is it legal to kill your dog,” and “punishment for killing your dog in PA.”

Bryan Gardner, 47, was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, cruelty to animals, and neglect of animals after the dogs were discovered, back in March, in a ditch in Middle Paxton Township.

One dog had a gunshot wound to the abdomen, and the other had significant trauma to its head and stomach.

In an interview with police, Gardner denied any involvement with the killing or dumping of the dogs, and told his interviewer “you don’t have anything,” according to a criminal complaint.

PennLive.com reports that Gardner told officers the dogs ran off while he was walking them.

Investigators spoke with Gardner’s wife, Andrea, who said her husband told her he gave the dogs away. Andrea refused to take a polygraph test or allow police to review text messages between her and her husband.

Police then obtained a search warrant for Gardner’s cell phone records, and officers found the text messages.

The web searches were made both before an after Gardner was initially confronted by police, according to the complaint.

If the warrant to get his phone holds up in court, he faces a bit of an uphill battle.

Good, you might say, and you might be right.

There are arguments to be made about privacy, too, but for now we will make these two conclusions:

One, smartphones, like computers, have made it much easier to pull off a host of bad deeds — from scams to affairs and with the Internet serving as accomplice — but they have also made it a whole lot easier to get caught.

Two, this guy’s smartphone showed itself to be about as loyal to him as he (allegedly) was to his dogs.

Mississippi State football player charged with starving Great Dane

storyA member of the Mississippi State football team has been suspended after his arrest on animal cruelty charges related to allegations he left a Great Dane locked in a room without food or water for at least three days.

Head Coach Joe Moorhead devoted a full 30 seconds to the incident in an 11-minute press conference Wednesday, stating little more than that offensive lineman Michael Story was indefinitely suspended as soon as the team learned about the charges.

Police in Starkville apparently did not reveal much about the incident either.

Both the name of the complainant and the address of the home where the incident occurred were redacted in the police complaint, which made no mention of any reasons Story might have had for sequestering the dog.

Story was charged Saturday on a misdemeanor count of aggravated cruelty to a cat or dog, WTVA reported.

The complainant told police that Story “shut Kodak the Great Dane in the back room of his apartment and did not feed or water Kodak the Great Dane since Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, until Aug. 18, 2018. Mr. Story then stated at a later time that Kodak the Great Dane had been in the bedroom of the apartment for roughly a week’s time.”

At a press conference on the final day of training, Coach Moorhead answered questions about training and the outlook for the team before a reporter asked, “What is Michael Story’s status with the team?”

“I’d rather just meet this out in front of it,” the coach answered, but his subsequent remarks shed little light on what happened.

He confirmed that Story had been suspended indefinitely as soon as the charges became known.

“We talk to our team all the time about our decision-making and our conduct off the field, and that’s something we certainly stress everyday. The discipline of this will be handled accordingly,” he said.

He added no more, and the next question was, “What’s the rotation at cornerback?”

You can watch the full press conference here.

Story, a junior from Ripley, was practicing as a second-team left guard early in preseason camp. He started twice as a freshman in 2016 but hasn’t started since.

(Associated Press photo by Michael Woods)

Bassett hound is victim in sexual assault case involving MSU health physicist

hatteyMichigan State University has had its hands full with, and its coffers drained by, a sexual assault scandal involving the university physician who sexually abused young women under the guise of administering medical treatment.

Now comes another allegation, on behalf of a victim who is not a gymnast, but a bassett hound.

Joseph Hattey, a health physicist within MSU’s Environmental Health and Safety office, has been charged with two counts of bestiality.

Hattey, according to a press release by the Michigan attorney general’s office, penetrated the animal with his hand and his penis. It is not believed the crimes happened on the Michigan State University campus, and the dog was not one owned by the university.

Hattey, 51, had previously been assigned duties within the university’s Veterinarian Diagnostic Laboratory.

The bassett hound is in custody of Ingham County Animal Control.

An MSU spokesperson issued this statement:

“Michigan State University was informed by the MSU Police Department on April 17 of a criminal investigation against Joseph Hattey, a health physicist with the Environmental Health and Safety Unit (note this position does not work with students, patients or animals). Hattey was immediately put on administrative suspension, pending the investigation. The university has been and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement officials on this matter. MSUPD is providing digital forensic support in the investigation.”

Hattey entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment on the charges Monday. A preliminary hearing is set for June 21.

“These are merely allegations that have not been proven,” Hattey’s attorney, Alexander Rusek, told the Lansing State Journal. “Mr. Hattey pleaded not guilty in court today and looks forward to addressing the fact of the matter during the preliminary examination.”

Michigan State University has been rocked by a sex scandal involving a university physician who also served as doctor for the U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team.

The university, under the terms of a settlement, has agreed to pay $500 million to victims of Lawrence G. Nassar, who was sentenced to 40-125 years in prison.

That settlement is believed to be the largest ever reached in a sexual abuse case involving an American university.

Police in Ohio arrest woman they say was responsible for writing on, abandoning dog

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Police in Ohio have charged the woman they say was responsible for abandoning a dog in a park with the words “free” and “good home only” written on her in permanent marker.

Ross County authorities identified the woman as Kendra Stafford of Chillicothe. She faces charges of animal cruelty and animal abandonment, WSYX in Columbus reported.

The dog, a 6-month-old lab mix taken in by the Ross County Humane Society, was renamed Marvela and quickly adopted after being found in a crate in a local park.

Stafford’s expected to be arraigned in Chillicothe Municipal Court on June 8th.

Initial news reports offered no information on how police were able to track her down.

Court records show Stafford has also been accused of endangering her children. Three years ago, they were temporarily taken out of her custody.

(Photo: Ross County Humane Society)

Family dog tackles suspect fleeing police

As many times as we’ve reported on police, while responding to a call, shooting and killing a homeowner’s dog, it’s only right to share this story with you — and perhaps remind police that not every dog is their enemy.

This one, named Georgio, turned out to be an ally.

When two suspects trying to outrun Volusia Count sheriff’s deputies cut through a backyard, Georgio leaped up, chased them, and brought one down.

The homeowner, Mario Figueroa, said he was lighting his fire pit when the two men came running through his yard.

“I was standing right there and didn’t even see the gentlemen coming in from behind me,” he told News 6.

The tackle was captured on video from a Volusia County sheriff’s helicopter.

Deputies on foot caught up with and arrested two men, identified as Corey Williams and Deonte Broady.

The two-year-old rescue dog was tethered with a long leash when he brought down the suspect.

“The guys were on his territory and he took them down,” Figueroa said.

Deputies said the men were driving with a stolen tag. After the pursuit began, they ditched the car and were trying to escape on foot.

That’s when they made the mistake of entering Georgio’s yard.

“Yeah, he took him down like a professional police dog,” Figueroa said. “He’s pretty awesome. Georgio just took care of me. He’s a wonderful dog.”

A horrible dog story you may want to avoid

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If you’re the type of person who shields yourself from accounts of dogs being treated with extreme cruelty, go away right now and come back tomorrow.

If you’re the type of person whose blood literally boils when you read about animal abuse — and you’d prefer your blood not to boil — go away right now.

Because what’s now clear happened last week to a veteran’s PTSD dog in North Carolina, at the hands of that veteran, isn’t easily stomached — even if we spare you the videos posted on Facebook.

Horrendous as it is, we are sharing it here — in honor of that dog’s memory, in the interest of justice for that dog, and because sometimes, futile as the effort might be, it’s important to at least try to understand the un-understandable.

An ex-soldier who told Facebook friends she had found a new home for her PTSD dog, Cam, actually took the dog into the woods around Fayetteville, where she and her boyfriend shot him multiple times, execution style.

They made a video of it, complete with giggles, which can now be found on Facebook.

“They can be heard on the tape laughing and giggling as the dog was being killed,” Cumberland County District Attorney Clark Reaves said at the couple’s first court appearance on Tuesday.

rollinshengMarinna Rollins, who is 23, and Jarren Heng, who is 25, have each been charged with cruelty to animals and conspiracy, according to the The Fayetteville Observer.

The dog had been adopted two years earlier by Rollins’ husband shortly after the couple separated. Rollins’ husband called the pit bull mix Huey, and described him as a great and loving dog who once chased burglars away from his home.

When Rollins’ husband learned he was being assigned to South Korea, he said Rollins cried and begged him to let her keep Huey, and he agreed.

rollinsWhile he was in South Korea, Marinna Rollins changed Huey’s name to Camboui, or Cam for short. She also had him certified as an emotional support animal for post-traumatic stress disorder — a diagnosis she had received.

Rollins had joined the Army in February of 2014 and served as a multimedia illustrator before medically retiring from the Army in January of 2017.

Heng had been part of a unit that serves the Army Special Operations Command.

It was just this month that Rollins began posting on Facebook in an attempt to find Cam a new home. She told a friend that caring for him was too expensive.

On April 17, she posted that she had a great last day with Cam and that he was going to a new home.

“Sad he has to go, but he will be much happier where he is heading off to,” Rollins wrote on Facebook.

Heng replied to Rollins’ Facebook post with a smiley-face emoji and the words, “He’s going to have such a great new life.”

Much of what happened after that was captured in photos and videos taken by Rollins and Heng.

hengCourt documents reveal that Heng and Rollins took Cam to an unknown wooded area. Both wore their Army camouflage pants and boots. Heng is pictured shirtless and Rollins wore a pink polka-dotted bra. They sipped Coca Colas and joked as they tied the dog to a tree.

Rollins shot Cam in the head, and then several more times, before Heng asked for a turn and handed her the camera.

“Let me hit him once,” Heng said.

According to court documents, they took photographs of the execution and at least three videos.

Rollins then dragged Cam’s dead body around before shoving him in a shallow grave.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, in the course of the investigation, found the videos, photos and text messages between the two discussing the shooting.

Although it’s not clear how they got there, the photos and videos ended up on a Justice for Cam Facebook page, described as “a page set up in the memory of an Emotional Support Animal that was brutally murdered by his owner and her boyfriend.”

Bail was initially set at $5,000 for Heng and at $10,000 for Rollins, but prosecutors later had it increased to $25,000 each “due to aggravating factors and the cruel nature of the case.”

“We will work diligently to seek justice in this case,” Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West said. “What we do know about the case is disturbing.”

(Photos from the Justice for Cam Facebook page)