Lawyers for a Baltimore police officer who slit the throat of a sharpei on a city street in June tried to put a new spin on his actions in court last week, entering a not guilty plea and suggesting Officer Jeffrey Bolger was heroically trying to save the unborn child of the pregnant woman the dog had bitten.
Fortunately, the judge didn’t immediately buy it, and declined a request from defense lawyers to dismiss the animal cruelty charges filed against Bolger.
The pregnant woman, meanwhile, is calling bullshit.
“Don’t try and make yourself a hero when you made a grave mistake,” she said in a a radio interview last week, after Bolger’s initial court appearance. “Try and say I’m sorry.”
In court on Thursday, lawyers for the 22-year veteran of the police force said Bolger was “legally authorized” to kill the dog, named Nala, and that he was acting to protect the unborn child of a woman the dog had bitten.
He entered a not guilty plea to two counts of animal mutilation, one count of animal cruelty and one count of misconduct in office. Both Bolger, 49, and a second officer, who held Nala while Bolger slit her throat, have been suspended.
His attorney’s reasoning went like this: Had the dog escaped from police, the woman would have had to undergo a series of rabies shots, putting her baby at risk. Due to that, and the dangers the attorney said the dog posed to citizens nearby, Bolger made the decision to “euthanize” Nala in the safest manner possible.
“Bolger considered using his firearm, but he determined that there was too much danger of a ricochet bullet injuring bystanders,” his lawyers said. “Instead, he used his knife in a fashion intended to cause the dog the least amount of pain and place the public in the least amount of danger.”
What’s underplayed in attorney’s brief is that, when that decision was made, the dog had already been subdued with a catch pole.
The attorneys said Bolger and other officers struggled with the dog for more than an hour, the Baltimore Sun reported.
And they said Bolger didn’t say “I’m going to gut this (expletive) thing,” as some witnesses reported. Instead, they submit, he said he was going to have to “cut” the dog because of the lack of other available options.
Among those who found the attorney’s statements ludicrous was Sandy Fleischer, the pregnant woman who was trying to help the dog and keep police from harming her. She spoke out after the incident — and she did so again after Bolger’s hearing.
“To say that you were helping me and trying to save my life? I was there to help the dog,” Sandy Fleischer said. “I can’t believe they are using me for the defense.”
In an interview Thursday on WBAL Radio’s C4 Show, Fleischer said she was upset that the fact she was pregnant — something she confided only to the paramedic treating her — had made its way to police and into the courtroom.
Fleischer was nipped by the dog as she tried to get a look at her collar, so she could get in touch with the dog’s owner.
When she first recounted the incident on the radio show, months ago, Fleischer said the officers who first arrived on the scene used sticks to try and corral the dog, which only served to intensify the situation. She said officers calling the dog a pit bull.
She said police had her ushered to the ambulance “because they didn’t want me seeing the dog being killed.”
A second officer, Thomas Schmidt, 53, is accused of holding the dog down while Bolger cut her throat and is scheduled to appear in court later this month.
The judge, while declining to immediately grant the request for a dismissal requested by Bolger’s attorneys, didn’t rule out further arguments and consideration of the motion.
Bolger’s trial date is scheduled for Nov. 7.
(Photo: Ian Duncan / Baltimore Sun)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 16th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, baltimore, bite, bitten, court, cut, dog, dogs, hearing, hero, jeffrey bolger, killed, knife, law enforcement, nala, not guilty, officer, plea, police, pregnant, rabies, sharpei, slit, thomas schmidt, throat, trial, woman
This mostly friendly game of soccer between a dog and a turtle gets a little rough at times — but then so does human soccer.
Valeria D’Innocenzo Carlantoni in Civitavechia, Italy, a small town near Rome, posted the video of her dog and an unusually speedy turtle on her Facebook page.
At the very end of it, the turtle, after having the ball taken away, appears to snap at the dog’s hind leg.
Where have we seen that before?
Posted by John Woestendiek July 9th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 2014, animals, ball, behavior, bit, bite, bites, bitten, dog, dogs, funny, humans, pets, play, snap, soccer, sport, suarez, turtle, videos, world cup
When a 4-year-old boy in Bakersfield, Calif., was attacked by a dog, his cat rushed to the rescue.
The boy was riding his bike when the dog approached, yanked him down, and bit his leg. All of that was captured on surveillance cameras, as was the cat who charged, rammed and chased the dog away.
The boy’s mother, Erica Triantafilo, said her son received 10 stitches.
The dog has been quarantined by animal control, Goldenempire.com reported.
The video was originally posted on YouTube by the boy’s family.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 16th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, attack, bakersfield, bicycle, bite, boy, brave cat, california, cat, cat saves boy, chased, dog, dogs, driveway, four-year-old, hero cat, pets, rescue, stitches, triantafilo, video
A pit bull shot by police and left for dead in East St. Louis was scooped up by an animal advocate the next day, rushed to the vet and may survive.
Fox 2 News reports that police were called to the 900 block of East Broadway in East St. Louis on Tuesday after an eight-year-old boy was bitten by a black and white dog who witnesses say the boy had been throwing rocks at.
On Wednesday, Jaime Case, the executive director of Gateway Pet Guardians, was driving through the area and saw the dog moving in a field. She and her husband, who feed stray dogs in East St. Louis, loaded the dog in their truck and rushed him to Hillside Animal Hospital in St. Louis.
Why the dog remained in a field nearly 24 hours after police shot him, why no one apparently checked the dog after he was shot, why what was thought to be his lifeless body wasn’t hauled away are questions police haven’t answered. But on the surface it all seems to show a huge lack of respect — both for dogs and the community.
At least one department official wasn’t happy about it. Police returned to the street the next day, after neighbors who had gathered to watch the dog get rescued started expressing anger about how the police had handled the incident the day before. Fox News 2 caught one officer on video, who was wearing a hat reading ‘Asst. Chief’ and shouting into his phone at someone about the incident.
“We should have down something proper. How do we shoot a dog and leave a damn dog in a field?” the officer asked. “And you wonder why these people say the (expletive) they say about us.”
X-rays of the dog, who the rescuers named Colt, reveal he was shot once in the shoulder and once in the head.
But animal rescuer Case said when they arrived at his side he seemed to have some fight left in him.
“He was fighting us to get in the car so he has got some oomph left in him,” she said. “I am hopeful all those things mean he is on his way to recovery.”
Because the dog was found alive, the child who was bitten may be able to avoid a series of five rabies shots.
The dog, who was wandering at the time of the incident, is microchipped, and is registered to a home in Belleville.
If the dog survives, there’s still a good chance he could be put down if he is deemed dangerous.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: anger, animals, bit, bite, bitten, child, dog, dogs, east st. louis, gateway pet guardians, killed, law enforcement, left for dead, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, rescue, rises, rocks, shot, survival, survivor, throwing, undead
A woman who didn’t want to tell a TV news team “how she felt” about her daughter being shot threw a rock at them, shook a baseball bat at them, and then sent her dogs after reporter Abbey Niezgoda of ABC 6 News in Rhode Island.
The crew was on assignment in Providence, seeking to interview the mother of a teenage girl who was shot at a graduation party over the weekend.
Instead of politely declining to speak on-camera, Melissa Lawrence hurled a rock at ABC6 photographer Marc Jackson, then went inside for a baseball bat. Seconds later, she told her dogs to attack.
As Lawrence shouted commands, the dogs chased Niezgoda into a backyard a few houses away.
Niezgoda was a treated for a bite on her forearm.
Melissa Lawrence was charged with two counts of felony assault with a dangerous weapon.
Lawrence’s daughter, who was shot in the lower back, has since been released from the hospital.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 7th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abbey niezgoda, animals, bite, bitten, chase, crew, dogs, interview, media, mother, news, pets, providence, reporter, rhode island, shooting, team, teenager, television, tv, victim
Damien Wilkerson, 34, was being held in lieu of $80,000 bail and faces felony animal cruelty charges, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Witnesses told police they saw Wilkerson beating the dog near his home Saturday while holding a knife. Police found the dog’s body in a trash can in nearby alley.
“Yeah I killed that … dog,” Wilkerson told police, according to court documents. “I don’t give a (expletive),” Wilkerson said to police. “The dog tore my shirt. This … cost $3.78.”
Wilkerson said he went after the dog after it bit and tore his shirt through a fence, according to court documents. He said he hopped the fence and began beating the dog with a milk crate, then “choked the dog out” when the animal went for his neck, according to officers.
Authorities say Wilkerson is a member of the Insane Vice Lords gang.
According to court documents, he told police, “I ain’t gonna let no dogs or no (expletive) punk me.”
Posted by John Woestendiek June 3rd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, arrest, beaten, bit, bite, chicago, choked, damien wilkerson, dog, dogs, fence, gang, gangs, insane vice lords, killed, neighbor, pets, shirt, stabbed
A D.C. police officer shot and killed what law enforcement authorities described as a pit bull during a festival in Adams Morgan on Sunday afternoon — an action the dog’s caretaker said was uncalled for.
Aaron Block, 25, of Dupont Circle, said he was walking 2-year-old “Parrot,” who he described as a Shar-Pei mix, up 18th Street when the dog suddenly turned around and bit a poodle that was passing by.
Block said he managed to separate the two dogs, and was subduing Parrot when police arrived. A police officer took over, putting his knee in the middle of Parrot’s back while the dog was on the ground.
According to Block, the officer then grabbed Parrot by his neck and threw him over a banister at the Brass Knob antique store. Block said the dog was getting up when the officer shot him.
“The officer drew his gun in an unnecessary act of cowboy gunslinging law enforcement and shot my dog amidst a crowd of thousands,” said Block, who was fostering Parrot while he was waiting to be adopted through Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. “The problems here are almost too numerous to count,” he told the Washington Post.
The Post, which ran this photograph of the incident, by Dylan Singleton, also published the full police report, which was obtained by Lucky Dog Animal Rescue.
The officer, 25-year-veteran Scott Fike, fired one shot, fatally wounding the dog.
Jacob Kishter, commander of the 3rd Police District, said that the dog was running at the officer, and called the shooting justified.
Tony De Pass, 67, a former D.C. police officer who lives in Northwest, said that the dog was charging directly at him when Fike drew his gun and fired and that “if the officer hadn’t shot the dog, the dog would have got one of us, either me or the officer…What he did, I would have done the same damn thing.”
Block said Parrot was a “very people-friendly dog, with absolutely no bite history.”
On it’s website, the rescue organization called Parrot’s death tragic and unwarranted: “We have received numerous questions about the incident, and, because news outlets have varied significantly in recounting what happened, we have spoken to as many eye witnesses as possible, and have requested and obtained the official police report.”
“According to multiple eye witnesses, Parrot had already been subdued and was being held securely by his foster, Aaron Block, when the police arrived on the scene. Parrot was not ‘out of control.’
Lucky Dog also disputes that the dog was charging at the officer. “A witness who was standing on the Brass Doorknob’s porch saw what transpired in the stairwell. He told us that Parrot was stunned from the fall and had only just gotten to his feet when the officer drew his gun and opened fire without provocation.”
Posted by John Woestendiek September 14th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aaron block, adams morgan, animals, bite, d.c., dogs, festival, killed, law enforcement, lucky dog, lucky dog animal rescue, news, ohmidog!, parrot, pets, pit bull, police, scott fike, sharpei, shot, washington