On June 15, 2014 at 2:30 am, Fourth District Officers Neil Pesta and Brian Kellums responded to East 138th Street and Harvard Avenue for a call for a male beating a dog in the middle of the street. Upon their arrival, they were met by witnesses, one of whom had the dog. The witnesses reported to officers that they had witnessed a male beating the dog with a leather belt and then strike the dog in the face with a brick and choke him. One of the witnesses had convinced the suspect to give him the dog.

The dog had injuries to his face, legs and paws. Officers reported that the dog jumped into the front seat of their zone car and took a seat on the floor. Officers were able to ascertain the name of the suspect through witness statements, but when they went to his door, he was not home.

Officers James Thomas and John Mullin responded to the area for further investigation and were instrumental in obtaining additional witness statements. Thanks to witnesses coming forward, Officer Pesta was able to confer with the City Prosecutor’s Office and obtain a warrant for the suspect.

Peris Rice was arraigned today in Cleveland Municipal Court. He plead not guilty to charges of Cruelty to Animals and was given a $5,000.00 bond.
The dog was treated for his injuries at VCA Great Lakes Vet Specialists and was taken in for fostering by Patrol Officer Brandon Melbar. Officer Melbar has since decided to adopt the dog and has named him Harvard. Judging from the photo, Harvard seems to be settling into his new home quite comfortably.

Photo Credit to Cleveland Police


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