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Quincy police charge man with 11 counts of cruelty to animals in dog abuse case

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  October 28, 2013 05:00 PM

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A Polish immigrant accused of serially abusing and torturing a female pit bull will be arraigned at Quincy District Court on Tuesday on 11 counts of cruelty to animals and charges of misleading a police investigation.

At a press conference on Monday, Quincy Police said Radoslaw Artur Czerkawski, 32, from Poland, had been arrested on Oct. 23 in New Britain, Connecticut on the charges in connection with the “Puppy Doe” case.

Police said he was on his way to Quincy after proceedings at New Britain Superior Court on Monday.

“The Quincy police as well as the Norfolk District Attorney’s office have worked tirelessly on this case since its inception,” said Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan. “We took the matter very seriously. It was a grave concern to us. Our detectives have been working pretty much around the clock.”

Keenan said numerous search warrants have been pulled throughout the course of the investigation, which “took a little bit of time because we wanted to be sure we got it right,” Keenan said.

Animal cruelty charges are felony charges, and carry with them a five-year sentence, Keenan said.

Czerkawski, who police said is not a U.S. Citizen, was living on Whitwell Street with an older woman at the time of the incident, police said.

Police said he was working as an elderly caregiver but wasn’t a licensed nurse or registered caregiver.

The woman has since passed away. Police do not suspect foul play.

Police said a tip led them to the suspect. He was picked up in a New Britain hotel on Wednesday and been held in Connecticut since.

“We did receive a tip. We followed it up and it led us to where we are today,” Keenan said, noting that a discussion of the reward money would be forthcoming.

An assigned Assistant District Attorney and two Quincy police detectives have been working on the case since the dog was found near death at a Whitwell Street playground on Aug. 31.

The dog had to be put down to the extent of her injuries, which included starvation, burns, stab wounds, fractures, dislocated joints, and torture-type injuries to the dog’s tongue.

“It’s hugely difficult [to investigate],” Keenan said. “We had an abused animal that couldn’t speak for itself.”

Police wouldn’t divulge the aspects of the investigation that lead them to Czerkawski, but said they believe he acted alone.

Police added that it appeared the suspect had purchased the dog, and that it was hard to tell if he had abused other animals in the past.

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Quincy police have arrested a person they believe tortured this pit bull, which was found near a park on Aug. 31. Photo by Animal Rescue League of Boston. (Left) Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan speaks about the arrest at a press conference on Monday afternoon.

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Veterinarians at the Animal Rescue League of Boston who treated the dog said in a report that the dog weighed half what she should for being approximately two years old.

Further examination showed that the dog’s tongue had been purposefully split. She had additionally been burned on the nose, stabbed in the eye, and beaten so severely that she could barely walk.

The dog had to be put down due to the extent of her injuries, yet the public outcry was not slowed. Shortly after the Norfolk District Attorney released details of the investigation on Sept. 19, asking for the public’s help in identifying the abuser, tips came flooding into the Quincy Police Department.

By the next day, thousands of dollars had been fundraised by numerous organizations for a reward. The Animal Rescue League of Boston offered $5,000, followed by the California-based Animal Legal Defense League put up $2,000. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals offered up another $5,000, and Second Chance Rescue out of New York raised $11,000 for information.

The Animal Rescue League raised over $35,000 additionally to be put toward investigating this and other animal abuse cases.

The story has prompted Facebook groups that have become the sites of a tremendous outpouring of outrage and grief, and resulted in a vigil held for “Puppy Doe.”

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