BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Animal cruelty charges so heinous they carry jail time. Now the attorney for a Baltimore City police officer accused of killing a shar pei is asking a judge to drop those charges.
Christie Ileto explains the officer’s attorney is arguing his client was authorized to kill that dog.
Accused of slitting the throat of a 7-year-old shar pei named Nala, Officer Jeffrey Bolger has been on the other side of the law since June.
His attorney says Bolger was just doing his job.
“It’s about putting the concerns of a human being, and in this case a pregnant woman and unborn child, ahead of the concerns of a stray dog that appeared to be foaming at the mouth,” said Steve Levin.
Levin says city code allows an officer to kill a dog under such circumstances.
“Those circumstance demanded the action he took,” Levin said.
Police say Nala ran several blocks from home before nipping a woman trying to rescue her. Officers cornered Nala in a nearby lot.
“You never expect you call for someone to help, and that’s how they goina respond,” said Sarah Gossard, dog’s owner.
In a motion to dismiss animal abuse charges, Levin argued Bolger had no other option but to cut Nala’s throat, saying “Having worked as a commercial fisherman in the past, he knew how to use a knife and quickly euthanize the dog.”
“That’s crazy to me, crazy to me. I mean own up to what you did. Accept responsibility,” Gossard said.
Nala’s owner is still traumatized. Police say there was no evidence that Nala showed any aggression.
The incident, disturbing in nature, has garnered national attention.
“I want them to be held accountable, not walk away and be untouched,” Gossard said.
While Gossard wants justice for Nala, Bolger’s attorney says it would be unjust to punish his client for following city code.
Bolger has been suspended without pay. The state’s attorney’s office also brought charges against Thomas Schmidt, who is accused of holding Nala down while her throat was cut.
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