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Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Date: Nov 22, 2017

At a recent seminar on animal abuse, members of the Baltimore County Police Department, the Baltimore County Animal Services, the Office of the State's Attorney, and veterinarians met with various groups to discuss the problems associated with animal abuse and the correlations it has to further violent behavior, arguing for stricter enforcement and stronger laws.

During the daylong session, attendees were reminded that, in some cases, animal abuse is a precursor to domestic abuse. Oftentimes the victim in a domestic case is fearful of leaving the abusive situation because there is a pet at home. The abuser threatens the victim by threatening to harm or kill the pet if the victim leaves.

Another issue is the lack of shelters for the pets of the victims. That is starting to change. Social workers found that the victims will leave their home if they know there is a safe place for their pets. We forget that pets are part of the family and are loved. Finding shelter for household pets can become another difficult factor in the decision to leave an abusive relationship.

Animal abuse has been found to be a precursor to violence against other people. When investigators looked into the past of serial killers, they found that animal abuse is often the start of their criminal activity. Recent Texas serial shooter, Devin Kelley, was court-martialed in 2012 and sentenced to a year in prison for domestic assault on his stepson. He subsequently received a "bad conduct" discharge by the Air force. Kelley was arrested in 2014 for animal abuse after tormenting a dog by punching, hitting and throwing the defenseless animal. Other serial killers follow much the same path; they abuse animals and then proceed to abusing and killing people.

Our officers learned that if a child is found abusing animals, there may be something causing the violent and cruel behavior. Most likely there is physical abuse in the home, either of the child or another family member. The child copes by copying the same behavior as the abuser. However, studies have also shown that sexual abuse of a child also often leads the child to engage in the abuse of animals. Helping these children at an early age may prevent the escalation of violent behavior and future tragedies.

Prosecutors at the conference are working with police to go beyond the normal questions when handling a domestic violence call. Officers were told to inquire further regarding children and pets. With this information, our officers can make the necessary calls to the Department of Social Services. Officers can find out if there is an agency that can take the animals out of the home and place them in a safe environment while the children go with their abused parent. If the victim feels the children and pets will be safe, they will most likely leave with the officer and be taken to a safe house.

This is one of many conferences that Baltimore County Police attend to further their knowledge. As an officer and professional, it is important to keep up with the latest trends in crime prevention. Baltimore County Police constantly strive to make Baltimore County a safe and comfortable place to live and work.

Throughout this holiday weekend, Baltimore County Police and other law enforcement agencies will be on the roads looking for aggressive, drunk and distracted drivers.

We all want to get to our destinations and enjoy our time with family and friends, but speeding may not get you there any faster. On the contrary, you could be stopped for speeding and aggressive driving. Once you are stopped, the officer will check your license, registration, and check to see if you have any outstanding warrants.

Should the officer suspect drinking and/or drugged driving, the officer will conduct a roadside sobriety test. If the result indicates you are driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, you will be arrested on the spot and face some big fines. You will also have to pay a lawyer and court costs. You could lose your license, and your insurance will go up.

Distracted driving has been compared to driving drunk. The three seconds it takes to look down at your cellphone is just enough time to crash into another vehicle or strike a pedestrian. The message can wait, as can the phone call.

Take your time driving to Grandma’s house. She will forgive you if you are a little late.

Happy Thanksgiving!

UPDATE (November 22, 2017 4:10 p.m.):

Police have identified the victim of a fatal pedestrian involved crash on Eastern Boulevard last night as Thomas Marshall Ross, 2nd (49) of the 300 block of Folcroft Street, 21224.

The Baltimore County Police Crash Investigation Team continues to investigate the factors involved with this incident.

Original Release (November 21, 2017 9:38 p.m.):

A man struck by a vehicle while crossing Eastern Avenue tonight has died.

The Baltimore County Crash Investigation Team responded to the scene around 5:23 p.m. after a 2003 Ford F-150 exiting MD Route 702 onto Eastern Boulevard struck the man as he was crossing the street. The pedestrian, a 49-year-old man, was transported to Franklin Square Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased. The driver of the truck did remain at the scene  

Police have not yet released the identity of the man pending family notifications. 

 
 
Revised June 27, 2017