Police seek perp behind Bay Ridge animal killings

March 2, 2016 Editorial Staff
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An onslaught of animal deaths in Bay Ridge has left local pet owners and animal rights activists fearful and furious.

According to signs posted throughout the neighborhood, the New York City Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Squad is looking into a string of sudden animal deaths that neighbors claim are premeditated.

“We were contacted back in December, so this has been going on for a while,” said District Manager of Community Board 10 Josephine Beckmann. “I know that police were contacted and had been searching for who [is behind] this, but haven’t been able to find the perpetrator. It’s certainly disturbing to see how an individual could actually take a birdfeeder and place poison [in it] that attracts animals.”

According to reports, close to 100 birds have been killed as well as some cats, squirrels and even dogs. Twenty-four-year-old Ridgeite Brian Baglioni, who caught the perp on video and posted warning flyers, said this could possibly be the work of a “coordinated” group.

“We were finding groups of at least 20 birds in one area just dead on the ground, some of them still convulsing. Something was unnatural about it,” he said. “It’s gotten progressively worse, and the problem is that people in this neighborhood – we treat animals as pets.

“Even when people are innocently feeding animals, now it’s hard to know who is doing this and when,” he continued. “Whoever is doing this is either by himself or part of a group, some sort of coordinated effort.”

Local resident Bianca Papas, founder of the “Lost & Found Pets in Brooklyn” Facebook page, agreed.

“These killings are without question premeditated,” Papas told this paper. “There is video showing a man carrying a long pole over to a Bay Ridge tree that’s frequented by many birds. Neighbors put a feeder up to care for them in winter months. [The perp] uses the pole to knock it down and then pours the seed out onto the ground. A few minutes later, he brings a container over to the same tree and pours the liquid contents onto the base of the tree. The liquid is green and appears to be antifreeze.”

Papas also mentioned that glass and rat poison have been found mixed in with bread and pet food left out for strays.

Although the attacks have been said to span the area between 88th and 93rd Streets from Ridge to Fourth Avenue, Papas cited incidents outside of Bay Ridge as well.

“While concentrated in this neighborhood, it’s not been exclusive to Bay Ridge,” said Papas, whose neighbor’s seven-year-old Pomeranian died after ingesting a similar toxic substance, left near a tree last month . “There have been incidents reported in Sheepshead Bay, Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, Boro Park, Park Slope and Sunset Park. It’s a tremendously sad and scary situation.”

Local pols chimed in and commented on the seriousness of the situation.

“I am disturbed by the report of premeditated animal deaths in Bay Ridge,” said Councilmember Vincent Gentile. “As I’ve said before, animal cruelty is a gateway crime. This individual doesn’t belong on the streets of ‪Bay Ridge. He must be found, brought to justice and registered as a convicted animal abuser.”

“I join many Bay Ridge residents who are horrified and angered that this criminal action against animals is happening on the streets of our neighborhood,” added State Senator Marty Golden. “This community will not tolerate the systematic killing of animals and the person responsible for the inhumane poisoning of birds, squirrels, cats and dogs must be stopped and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Residents who notice suspicious activity are encourage to contact the 68th Precinct, 718-439-4211.

A poster provided to us by the NYPD’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad shows surveillance images of the suspect. An up to $2,500 reward is now being offered for information regarding these incidents. Call 1-800-577-8477 (TIPS).


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