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Tag: neighbor

Poop-slinging mayor resigns in California

The California mayor caught on video flinging a bag of dog poop into a neighbor’s yard has resigned.

Dennis Kneier’s resignation as mayor of San Marino — he’ll remain on the city council — came amid mounting criticism about his behavior in what some have dubbed “Poopgate.”

About 100 community members attended a June 11 city council meeting, where some residents called for Kneier’s resignation.

He offered it, effective immediately, yesterday.

The controversy began after Kneier’s neighbor Philip Lao discovered the small bag of dog poop outside his home.

He reviewed video from his home’s surveillance cameras, which showed Kneier tossing the bag.

San Marino police cited Kneier for littering that same day, and the video, which Lao shared publicly, went viral.

Lao — apparently not good buddies with Kneier — believes the mayor intentionally tossed the bag in retribution for putting a “No Poop Zone” sign outside his home and publicly opposing a proposed dog park, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Our take on all this? We think his honor behaved childishly, and less than honorably, but we also think — when it comes to the amounts of shit politicians routinely sling — Kneier’s poop-pitching was probably both less heinous and less harmful than much of what, historically, has been hurled.

In San Marino, Vice Mayor Eugene Sun will assume mayoral responsibilities through June 27 when the council is scheduled to meet and select a new mayor. Kneier will remain on the City Council until his term ends in November 2015.

In his letter of resignation, Kneier apologized, saying he suffered a moment of bad judgment.

“I thought it would be the very best thing for us to move forward and have a reorganization and have a new mayor,” he said in an interview with NBC in Los Angeles.

Cellphone video leads to abuse arrest

kiloWhen public officials say they “take something very seriously,” it’s often because they haven’t been taking it very seriously.

Nearly three months ago, authorities in Las Vegas dropped an investigation into a man’s complaint that his neighbor was abusing his dog.

Last week, though, that same dog owner was arrested — thanks to the persistent efforts of the neighbor who, after his earlier complaint led nowhere, went on to videotape the man mistreating his dog and than gave the evidence to officials.

Charged with felony cruelty to animals was Roy Cozart, 30, who beat his pit bull, Kilo, with a rock and the handle of a hammer and threw him against a wall, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson announced Friday in a press release.

“Animal abuse is a serious offense that will not be tolerated,” the district attorney said.  “We take all allegations of abuse very seriously and pursue criminal charges when appropriate.”

But as KTNV pointed out in a news report, the initial complaint against the neighbor came months ago.

While authorities apparently didn’t see the original complaint as that serious, they now say Kilo was abused multiple times between July 15 and Oct. 13.

The difference, this time, was apparently the video.

cozartTaken by the neighbor’s cellphone video on Oct. 8, it allegedly shows Cozart drag Kilo by his neck, swing him around in the air and then hit the dog with a six-inch rock.

Even after that, though, an animal control investigator who later visited Cozart’s home, reported that the dog, though he had cuts and bruises on his face, “appeared happy.”

It wasn’t until a week later that the dog was seized and examined by veterinarians who said they saw signs of abuse. Kilo is now in a foster home and is reported to be doing well, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“We are thankful the D.A. has taken animal cruelty seriously and has brought the appropriate charges against Roy Cozart,” said Gina Greisen, president of Nevada Voters for Animals. “We are confident that policies and procedures addressing serious allegations of cruelty will improve as more animal cruelty cases are prosecuted under Cooney’s law,” she said.

Cooney’s Law was passed by the Nevada State Legislature in 2011 making animal cruelty a felony. It’s named after a 3-year-old beagle from Reno who was killed when her owner cut her stomach open, thinking that a mouse crawled inside the dog. The owner was charged with a misdemeanor under the law in effect at the time.

Now it’s a felony, punishable by one to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

That’s progress, but only if the law is swiftly and strongly enforced.

“I ain’t gonna let no dogs punk me”

wilkersonA Chicago man charged with beating and stabbing a neighbor’s dog to death told police he did it because the dog tore his $3.78 shirt.

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.”

A tree goes down, a tamale comes up

The sprucing up of Petite Acres — the trailer park in Arizona where I’ve temporarily hung my hat — continues.

In addition to paving the dirt road that leads into the trailer park, to keep the dust down, the owner hired one of my neighbors, Ramiro, to come over and remove a tree stump from my yard.

As Ramiro brought over his tools — an axe, a pick and multiple shovels — Ace followed him back and forth to his trailer, and, as he has before, got a hand out.

“I was feeding him some tamale and he ate the whole husk,” Ramiro said. “I hope it doesn’t make him sick.”

Clearly, Ace didn’t understand the intricacies of Mexican cuisine; then again, his policy when it comes to any food is generally to eat it first and ask questions later.

Six hours later, about the time the tree finally came down, the tamale came up. Ace walked to the trailer door and started hacking, and got down the stairs just in time to cough up a corn husk.

Simultaneously, Ramiro, who had spent six hours digging and chopping roots, was heaving, too – throwing all his weight on the the six-foot-tall stump, which slowly toppled as he rode it down.

I’m not sure why the stump had to be removed. It takes up much more of my dirt yard now that it’s horizontal instead of vertical, but I’m sure someone will be chopping it up and hauling it away, and filling the giant hole in the ground.

I’d thought it would be cool to leave the stump standing, and paint it to resemble a cactus.

But, being a temporary resident, my vote didn’t count.

Ramiro probably didn’t care either way about the stump in my yard, but once he tackled the task, it became a battle he had to win — and all done without the aid of heavy equipment. It was man versus stump.

Ramiro proudly took a picture of the tree he’d singlehandedly brought down. I took a picture of what Ace coughed up. Then, at Ramiro’s request, I took some pictures with his cell phone camera of him standing atop the fallen tree truck, raising his arms in victory.

All in all, as they go, it was a pretty exciting day at Petite Acres.

Baltimore dog attacked with machete

A dog attacked yesterday by a neighbor wielding a machete is scheduled to undergo surgery tomorrow.

On Tuesday evening, a man walked into his neighbor’s yard and attacked the dog in the face and head with the machete, inflicting injuries that went all the way down to the bone, authorities said.

The dog, named Okashia, lives on the 3000 block of Wylie Avenue in northwest Baltimore.

While she lost a lot of blood, the dog is expected to recover, though vets were worried she might lose an eye.

Okashia, a shepherd-pit mix, was taken to the Emergency Veterinary Center in Catonsville, where she was sedated and given intravenous fluids. She was returned to Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS), where she was expected to be evaluated by a surgeon this morning.

As a result of Okashia’s treatment, and other recent emergency cases, BARCS’ Franky Fund — reserved for the most serious cases of sick and injured animals — is seriously depleted, according to officials at the shelter.

Contributions may be made here.

Caroline A. Griffin, head of Baltimore’s Anti-Animal Cruelty Task Force, said that in addition to injuries to her head, the dog has been found to have bruising to her lungs. Because of that, the decision was made to postpone surgery for her facial injuries until tomorrow.

According to police, Levar J. Bailey, who lives several doors down from the dog’s owner, attacked the dog in her own yard. When police arrested Bailey, 33,  he was yelling, “The dog was trying to bite my daughter,” according to charging documents.

The Baltimore Sun reported that Bailey was taken to an area hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and that, according to police, he has a history of mental illness.

The two-year-old dog is owned by Shea-Quan Moore-Williams, who went outside after hearing the dog yelping to find her bloody dog and Bailey in the yard with an 18- to 24-inch black machete.

(Contributions to BARCS are also being collected this week at Captain Larry’s, 601 E. Fort Avenue, in connection with the ongoing photo exhibit, “Hey That’s My Dog!” Checks can be made payable to BARCS or BARCS Franky Fund.)

Dog leads owner to man frozen to ground

effieA hunting dog on a walk with her owner in Minnesota led him to a 94-year-old neighbor who was unconscious and frozen to his driveway.

Brett Grinde and his German shorthair, Effie, were on a late afternoon walk Monday when the old hunting dog suddenly began pulling to the right, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Grinde, a Pine County sheriff’s investigator, let Effie off the leash and she ran to a driveway 40 yards away, stopping at the body of Grinde’s neighbor, William Lepsch, who apparently had fallen while retrieving his mail.

Lepsch’s wife, Marjorie, who uses a wheelchair, had looked outside and seen her husband on the ground. She tried dialing 911, she said, but had repeatedly misdialed out of panic.

“Nobody’s around and I’m out there hollering ‘Somebody please help me!’ but there was no one,” she said. “In the meantime this dog ran up and began licking his face.”

Grinde called 911, then started CPR.  Lepsch initially regained consciousness and was taken to North Memorial Medical Center.

Update: A North Memorial nursing supervisor says Lepsch passed away Wednesday morning.

Army sergeant convicted of shooting dog

Army Special Forces Sgt. Justin Noyes Blehar won’t serve jail time for shooting his neighbor’s dog earlier this year.

Blehar, 32, was charged with felony animal abuse, but the jury convicted him of misdemeanor animal abuse and shooting in a prohibited area after a three-day jury trial in Stafford County Circuit Court in Virginia, Fredericksburg.com reported.

According to prosecutors, Blehar shot a brown Labrador retriever that came into his yard on March 31. The dog lived with a family two houses away and repeatedly had gotten loose in the neighborhood. On March 8, Blehar’s wife called animal control after the dogs confronted her in her yard, and Blehar asked animal control officers if he could shoot the dog if it came back into his yard. He was told no, unless it was in self-defense.

On March 31 the dogs came into his yard again. He chased them away once, but they returned. Blehar said Zu Zu, the more aggressive of the two dogs, came at him and he felt threatened. He shot the dog twice with his Glock 9 mm weapon.

Prosecutors argued that Blehar was annoyed with the dog, not scared of it.

The jury recommended that Blehar pay a total of $1,146 in fines. The judge withheld the imposition of the jury verdict at the request of defense attorney, who requested time to file additional motions, including one to overturn the jury decision.

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