Police say a Wallingford man abused a dog and threatened a woman who told police about the alleged abuse.
Melvin Clarida, 31, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Rutland criminal court to two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to an animal and a felony count of obstruction of justice.
Clarida was released after posting $10,000 bail.
In an affidavit, Rutland County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Anthony Schiavo said he responded to a report of alleged animal abuse at a North Main Street home in Wallingford on June 28.
Schiavo said other deputies had responded to reported abuse at the same apartment in January and February, but saw no signs of abuse.
Schiavo said he got no response while knocking on the door June 28, but he spoke to a neighbor who said he could hear the people in that apartment yelling at the door and hitting it. He said he heard the sounds at “all times of the day” and often heard the dog “crying as if in pain.”
Also, the neighbor said he believed the dog was left alone in the apartment for long periods of time.
A woman who works at Bianca Hair Studio, which is below the apartment, told police that on June 28, she and a customer could hear a dog “whining, crying, barking for what sounded like his life.” She said a woman came into the shop who could hear the dog from the street.
The woman said she and others banged on the wall and yelled upstairs for the man to stop. The woman said the man who lived in that apartment, whom she did not identify by name, according to the affidavit, admitted to abusing the dog and had been “threatening us not to send the police to his door or else.”
Schiavo said he went back to the apartment around 7:30 p.m. June 28 and again found no one home.
Schiavo returned to the home around 11:30 p.m. with a search warrant, another member of the sheriff’s department and a veterinarian.
“During our search, we found the animal immediately entering the room (and) I could smell a strong odor of feces. The dog was in a cage that was dented and partially broken. (It) looked as if someone physically hit the cage. The dog seemed very scared. It was in the back corner of the cage with its tail between its legs. The cage was filled with feces and urine everywhere. The water in the cage seemed very dirty and the food bowl was tipped upside down,” Schiavo wrote.
Janet Carini, a veterinarian, was able to put the dog on a leash and remove it from the home, but Schiavo said he and another police officer had to move out of sight because the dog seemed to be afraid of men.
The dog was taken into protective custody.
In a second affidavit, Schiavo said an employee of the hair salon told police that Clarida came to the business June 29 and threatened to kill the employee who spoke to police because he got arrested.
The employee who first spoke to police gave a statement July 2. She said she had gotten an order against trespassing after her co-worker told her about Clarida’s alleged death threats.
Since he was served, the employee said, Clarida had been “glaring in the windows” of the salon and “flipping off the building.”
She said Clarida was making her feel “afraid, nervous and threatened for my life.”
Clarida was taken into police custody July 2. Schiavo said while Clarida was being processed, he “refused to communicate and provide basic identifying information.”
If convicted of all the charges against him, Clarida could be sentenced to up to seven years in jail.
Mia Steupert, of Rutland, was named to the spring 2019 dean’s list at Emmanuel College in Boston, Massachusetts.
Julia Riell, of Poultney, graduated from the University of Massachusetts — Dartmouth.
Colleen Pouliot, of Orwell, graduated with a Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering, cum laude, from Union College in Schenectady, New York.
Area graduates from Castleton University include:
Benson — Kaleb LaRock.
Bomoseen — Caleb Larson.
Brandon — Erin Cameron, Erin Flood, Emily Ohlinger, Tracy Rose, Jackson Smith, Wayne Thornton, Danarose Weaver, Hannah Welch.
Castleton — Fritzgerald Asuncion, Stafford Brannon, Brendan Burrell, Kelsey Butler, Joshua Ferguson, Caitlin Malone, Lindsey Marcy, Aimee Schulte, Mackinley Tomasi.
Center Rutland — Melinda Brown.
Clarendon — Stephen DeRoxas.
East Wallingford — Taylor Worcester.
Fair Haven — Matthew Briere, Adam Cook, Kelley Daley, Matthew Eckler, Lindsey Munger, Courtney Patterson, Jessica Penwarden, Virgil Van Guilder, Autumn Wood.
Florence — Brooks Cole, Kittridge Hudson.
Leicester — Alaisha Lucia, Nerissa Sweatt.
Mendon — James Heald.
Mount Holly — Nicole Shea.
North Chittenden — Peter Lynn.
North Clarendon — Garret Crift, Alexis Davis.
Pittsford — Brenna Kimball, Nicholas Mischanko, Regan Smith, Justin Wedin.
Poultney — Derek Bruno, Tedi Burks, Louisha Coppins, Leah DelPezzo, Jenni-Lynn Fuoco, Taylor Posch, Sara Trombley, Martin VanBuren.
Proctor — Abigail Blongy.
Rochester — Jessica Chase, Phoebe Parrish.
Rutland — Madison Alderman, Jacob Alsop, Jeremy Anastasi, Kathryn Beach, Rachel Brigham, Ailaini Corsones-Brown, Luke Carroll, Brian Commins, Jeffrey Corcoran, Megan Elrick, Lauren Fabian, Abigail Fowler, Lacie Gilligan, Sharon Lewis, Makayla Mecier, Kennedy Mitowski, Rudra Naik, Timothy Snizek, Alesha Swahn, Marcello Taravella, Sara Trepanier, Ryan Vaillancourt.
Shrewsbury — David Mackintosh.
Wallingford — Lauren Breen, Alyssa Eaton.
West Rutland — Nicholas Anagnos, Sierra Fales, Sarah Harvey, Samantha Lacz, Mary Frances Skaza.
MONTPELIER — Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan wants the State Police to have body cameras.
WCAX-TV reports the State Police say they'd like to supply troopers with body cameras, but they don't have the approximately $260,000 a year needed to store the information.
Donovan says body cameras have limitations but they still provide the best evidence as to what happens in some situations. He says they are good for the officer and the residents because they provide "a true and accurate picture of what transpired at the scene."
Currently members of the State Police tactical teams wear body cameras, but troopers do not while on routine patrol. State Police officials say obtaining body cameras for all troopers is one of the agency's top priorities.
BRATTLEBORO — The French company that purchased New Hampshire’s Stonyfield Farm in 2017 has acquired a yogurt maker with facilities in Brattleboro, Vermont and Casa Grande, Arizona.
Lactalis Group says the purchase of Ehrmann Commonwealth Dairy was completed on July 5.
Thierry Clement, CEO of Lactalis North America in Buffalo, New York, said the Ehrmann dairies complement his company’s Stonyfield and Siggi’s brands in the U.S.
Ehrmann Commonwealth Dairy employs 250 people in Brattleboro and Casa Grande. Its Vermont plant manufactures products under the Green Mountain Creamery label.
Lactalis is based in Laval, Mayenne, France, and has more than 250 facilities around the world.
— The Associated Press