QUINCY (CBS) – A man accused of torturing and beating a dog in Quincy was ordered held on $500,000 bail Tuesday.
Radoslaw Czerkawski, 32, from Poland, was arraigned just after noon in Quincy District Court on 11 counts of animal cruelty and a charge of misleading police. He pleaded not guilty.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Doug Cope reports
He was arraigned with the help of a Polish interpreter. Czerkawski is in the U.S. on expired tourist visa.
At one point during the hearing, several people in the courtroom cheered when the judge refused to impound photos of the abuse.
The dog, nicknamed “Puppy Doe,” was found barely alive back in the summer. The pit bull-type breed was about a year old. It had been starved and had a fractured skull, stab wounds and a split tongue. It was eventually euthanized, but the identity of the owner remained a mystery.
Czerkawski was arrested last week in New Britain, Conn. The dog had been bought and sold multiple times online via Craigslist before it ended up with him, according to police.
Officers say they also recovered blood and paw print evidence linking him to the beating and torture.
“Once we went public with it, we utilized the conventional media as well as social media and the case just took right off,” Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan told reporters.
There’s no word yet on a motive.
Investigators said Czerkawski was a caretaker for an elderly woman who lived a quarter mile from where the dog was found on August 31. Authorities believe it had escaped from the basement of the home and was not abandoned. Police said the woman Czerkawski was caring for died the same day, August 31, but her death is not considered suspicious.
The search for the owner also led to calls for tougher penalties for animal abuse. Several animal rights activists brought their pets to court Tuesday.
“She didn’t deserve what she got. We’re definitely here with our puppies to support her,” dog owner Kelly Duncan told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.
New Bedford police also announced Tuesday that Czerkawski is wanted there for stealing $6,000 from a church in 2012.
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