NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two days after an anti-animal cruelty vigil was held in Manhattan, a man was charged in connection with the torture and death of a Pit Bull found in a Massachusetts park in August.
Radoslaw Czerkawski, 32, of Poland, was arrested last week at a motel in New Britain, Conn. He appeared in court in Massachusetts Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of animal cruelty charges.
He was ordered held on $500,000 bail, CBS Boston reported.
The 2-year-old female pit bull, dubbed Puppy Doe, was found near death in a Quincy park on Aug. 31.
The dog was emaciated, had several fractures, a split tongue and was burned.
Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, Vice President of Animal Welfare at the Animal Rescue League, performed a necropsy on the dog who had to be euthanized due to the severity of her injuries.
Smith-Blackmore said the dog sustained more than 17 injuries in the one to two years she was alive.
“Splitting her tongue, burning her nose, stabbing her eye, it’s the totality of the types of injuries. Not only was she beaten she was stabbed she was burned its all kinds of injures. It’s a sick mind that can do this to an animal,” Smith-Blackmore told CBS Boston.
“She was a rack of beaten bones. Her joints were pulled apart like Medieval times. She was beaten, stabbed, burned over weeks to months and maybe her whole life. And could not walk,” Smith-Blackmore said.
The dog had been bought and sold multiple times online via Craigslist before it ended up with him, according to police.
Officers said they also recovered blood and paw print evidence linking him to the beating and torture, CBS Boston reported.
“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.
The case garnered worldwide attention, and a “Justice for Puppy Doe” Facebook page was created in an attempt to find the person responsible for torturing the dog.
The page currently has 67,270 likes.
Vigils for Puppy Doe were also held in several locations across the U.S., including one at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in NYC on Oct. 26.
Czerkawski is also a suspect in the theft of more than $6,000 from a New Bedford, Mass., church in 2012, police said.
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