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Baltimore Officer Charged with Cutting Lost Dog's Throat

June 19, 2014  | 

Nala with her owner (Photo: Facebook)
Nala with her owner (Photo: Facebook)

A Baltimore police officer was arrested and charged with aggravated animal cruelty and other charges after cutting the throat of a dog, police officials announced Wednesday afternoon.

Police were called Saturday morning to the 700 block of South Grundy Street in southeast Baltimore for a report of a stray dog that had nipped someone trying to rescue it.

Sarah Gossard told WBAL TV that her beloved 7-year-old shar-pei named Nala had somehow escaped the gate of her back yard that morning. While she searched for the dog, including posting pictures of Nala on a community Facebook page, nearby resident Sandy Fleischer said she found Nala a few blocks away looking confused and thirsty.

Police were called and secured Nala using a dog pole, and an officer assigned to the emergency services division, later identified as Officer Jeffrey Bolger, went much further.

Officer Jeffrey Bolger (Photo: Baltimore PD)
Officer Jeffrey Bolger (Photo: Baltimore PD)

"Unfortunately, at some point after the dog was contained, one of our officers used a knife and cut the dog's throat. This is outrageous and an unacceptable breach of our protocol," Baltimore Police Deputy Commissioner Dean Palmere said.

Police officials said they know of no reason for Bolger to use such force on a dog that was under control. Nala later died.

Bolger, who was also charged with malfeasance in office, has been suspended without pay. He was released early Thursday on his own personal recognizance. Bolger has been with the Police Department since 1992.


Comments (17)

Displaying 1 - 17 of 17

kmwilliams670 @ 6/19/2014 3:09 PM

Wow! What a douche bag. I hope they fire his dumb ass, and he gets time to serve. Way to go ass hat. Making our job even harder by letting the public think we're all out here to hurt the innocent.

Federali @ 6/19/2014 4:12 PM

I agree kmwilliams670. What a psycho. I think a psychiatric evaluation is in order, although it would be a waste of money for somebody that deserves a lot more than firing, jail time, and loss of pension!

Chuck Haggard @ 6/19/2014 4:13 PM

Being a 27 year copper I am often prone to give a brother the benefit of the doubt, but in this case if the story is true I hope he spends life in prison and burns in hell afterwards.

murgy01 @ 6/19/2014 4:13 PM

Geez...what and idiot. Besides doing the unthinkable , Now the citizens think we are pet killers,he just ruined a 22 yr career and probably will face jail time.

Lenny @ 6/19/2014 4:22 PM

It's a good thing there were CIVILIAN witnesses to this event.
Otherwise it would appear that Bolger and Schmidt would have
tried to cover this up. Apparently witnesses also stated that one
of the officers had his knee pressed into the dog's chest as he also
tightened a noose around the crying dog's neck. Classy. Should also
be very interesting why this incident was never reported up the chain
until reported o by the news.

NJ Motorcop @ 6/19/2014 6:20 PM

How did this POS get past the psych test???!!!

Carlos @ 6/19/2014 6:33 PM

It is scumbags like these that give the LE Community a bad name. I hop ethey fry them to the fullest extent of the law!!

Dale @ 6/19/2014 9:20 PM

There are almost always some unjust extra public trust jabs at us in most use of force incidents. I hope that the true facts show more info and details that may clear up what on the surface looks hard to explain.

It's hard to explain getting close enough to intentionally cut a large dogs throat if it's attacking you. Most of us would choose another weapon to defend against a dog attack. I hope that this ends up being a freak incident where the officer acted in his own defense and not as the monster that the media has shown.

We should keep the same open mind that we would ask for in our own use of force incidents. I hope that justice is served regardless of the officer being an animal or an officer who may have been on the ground fighting for his life. If he maliciously killed an animal he should loose everything and do time. If he had no choice but to use a knife to save his life we should all remember how easy it is in our society to make even the best officers look reckless.

Stay safe
Dale - Houston

Renee @ 6/20/2014 3:03 AM

I pray no one tries to justify this POS!!!

S.S. @ 6/20/2014 6:19 AM

Someone better look further into this a**holes past. Characteristics of a serial killer.

steve @ 6/20/2014 7:43 AM

Thanks a lot officer Bolger, for reducing the public's already low view of law enforcement even further! What the heck were you thinking? Some people think more of their pets than they do their kids. I know shar-peis can be very aggressive...I've seen several myself...but come on, this one was restrained. If you are allowed to stay in law enforcement I hope you get an opportunity to make up for this most hideous blunder!

Capt. Crunch @ 6/20/2014 8:26 AM

If this story is true this police officer is a real POS, he could have been a hero to the dog's owner now she thinks he is a monster and probably does not trust the police anymore because of one asshole like this.

Andy Sadat @ 6/20/2014 2:52 PM

I expect this behavior among the worst elements of society in my home country, where Islam teaches that dogs are "unclean" and encourages mistreatment and even killing. I am astonished to see it here in the USA.

Luke @ 6/21/2014 5:34 PM

Dale- please provide me one plausible scenario where a 300lb officer (former i hope) would be required to cut the throat of a 40lb dog while said dog is restrained on a pole and another officer holding it down? I'm a trooper of 15 years and do you know how embarrassing it is to come up on a citizen in need of help and the first thing they ask is to not hurt their pet? WTF? We're supposed to be the good guys! You have the nerve to say that we should keep an open mind when what you are really saying is that we should keep a closed mind and support this pos just because someone made the mistake of hiring him as a cop. I took an oath to serve and protect and I consider it a privilege and honor to wear my badge so I reject being asked to support or apologize for any individual who demeans the profession I love. We are losing the publics trust out there by killing their pets and then suggesting its protocol or "the officer feared for his safety"; just kick the thing if it gets too close!

Greg @ 6/23/2014 4:04 AM

"I love. We are losing the publics trust out there by killing their pets and then suggesting its protocol or "the officer feared for his safety"; just kick the thing if it gets too close!"

When did the baby officers become such cowards (or thugs)? I don't recall fellow officers shooting dogs like todays brave boys. I also don't recall police women shooting dogs like the guys do. I love the Jack Russel terrier shot by the 280 pounder because he was "skeered".

K9 @ 3/23/2015 1:38 PM

People in need used to run toward the police officers. Todays crop are trained to be fearful. The "I'm going home tonite" crap has been so worn out no one cares. Citizens also want to "go home tonite. Chiefs and Sheriffs better start culling the idiots before we have open war on police!

K9 @ 3/23/2015 1:39 PM

You know, many cops love their dogs like their kids too. What would we do if some clown kills our dog?

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