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Got Him! Suspect Arrested and Charged in Horrific “Puppy Doe” Case

Got Him! Suspect Arrested and Charged in Horrific “Puppy Doe” Case

Justice for “Puppy Doe” may be at hand.

One tip, culled from hundreds, proved to be the key to finding the man who allegedly tortured, beat and starved the young pit bull whom the world has come to know as “Puppy Doe.”

On Oct. 29, authorities in Quincy, Mass., arraigned Radoslaw Czerkawski on 11 felony counts of animal cruelty in the case that caused nationwide outrage and sparked emotional vigils around the country.

Care2 readers will remember the story we ran on Oct. 13 about Kiya. She was the pit bull forced from her loving home by a landlord who wouldn’t allow her owner to keep that breed. Kiya’s owner found her a new home using Craigslist, but several weeks later that new owner got rid of her.

Somehow, undoubtedly via Craigslist, poor Kiya was adopted by someone who abused her sadistically, apparently for a very long time.

The Worst Case of Abuse Rescuers Had Ever Seen

Kiya was starved, stabbed, beaten, burned, had her tongue crudely split in two and — most heartbreaking of all – had her joints repeatedly pulled apart in a medieval-style form of torture. She was abandoned and left for dead near a park in Quincy, Mass. A passerby found her on Whitwell Street on Aug. 31 and summoned help.

Kiya’s rescuers said this case is the worst example of abuse they have ever seen. The veterinarian who examined her called her a “bag of beaten bones.” Kiya could barely walk and weighed only half of what she should have. Her injuries were so devastating that the only kind thing to do was euthanize her.

This crime broke people’s hearts, plain and simple. Kiya’s story immediately went viral when details were first released in mid-September 2013. She became known around the globe as “Puppy Doe.” A Facebook page devoted to her case rapidly got 65,000 “likes,” and kept growing. Calls for justice rang out across the country. The manhunt was on.

“The Quincy police as well as the Norfolk District Attorney’s office have worked tirelessly on this case since its inception,” said Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan at a press conference on Oct. 28. “We took the matter very seriously. It was a grave concern to us. Our detectives have been working pretty much around the clock.”

Police got hundreds of tips in this case. They say they followed up on every one of them. One tip led them to New Britain, Conn., to a man named Radoslaw Artur Czerkawski, age 32.

A Very Sad and Sick Thing

Reports say a woman named Colleen Sullivan tipped off police that they needed to look at Czerkawski for this crime. In August he was reportedly living at 89 Whitwell Street, adjacent to the park where Puppy Doe was found.

“They kept their word that they were going to get him,” Sullivan told NECN. She said she’d had concerns about Czerkawski since last April, particularly as he was employed as a caregiver for an elderly woman. While police were canvassing the neighborhood and questioning residents, Sullivan realized what must have happened and alerted police.

Radoslaw Czerkawski, accused of animal cruelty. Photo courtesy New Britain Police Dept.

Police haven’t revealed all the facts that convinced them that she was right, but reports say that they found Puppy Doe’s blood in the Whitwell Street residence where Czerkawski had been living. Police say they are fairly sure Czerkawski acted alone. They don’t know if he’s done this before.

“I pray that, yes, he pays the price for what he did but I hope that somewhere along the line he honestly gets some mental help from the professionals because it’s a very sad and sick thing that he did,” Sullivan said.

Who is This Man?

Czerkawski is not a U.S. citizen and speaks no English. He is from Hrubieszow, Poland, and is in the U.S. reportedly on an expired tourist visa. He was, of course, not a licensed or registered professional caregiver. Police think he had Kiya for about four months.

Police took Czerkawski into custody at a La Quinta motel in New Britain on Oct. 23. After he appeared in court on Oct. 24 on a charge of misleading a police investigation, Connecticut authorities handed him over to the Quincy police. They brought him back to Massachusetts to face felony animal cruelty charges, which can bring a jail term of five years.

Czerkawski was arraigned on Oct. 29. He pleaded not guilty, and bond was set at $500,000. Pit bull owners and Puppy Doe supporters showed up at the courthouse as word spread of the arrest. One held a sign that read “Potwor!” which means “monster” in Polish. A pretrial hearing was set for Nov. 21.

Czerkawski is also being eyed as a suspect in the theft of several checks from the St. Lawrence Martyr Church in New Bedford, Mass., in 2012. He reportedly told the church he wanted to be a pastor, and they allowed him to live there from January to April 2012. The church lost $6,000. The publicity over Puppy Doe enabled authorities to tie Czerkawski to this crime as well.

Let’s hope Massachusetts authorities got the right man. If they did, kudos to the sharp-eyed tipster who made this arrest possible. Well-deserved congratulations also go to the hard working law enforcement officials of Quincy, Mass., for keeping this difficult case alive and solving it.

If Czerkawski is guilty, may he experience the full extent of what the law can do to him. Whatever it is, it won’t be enough to avenge Puppy Doe. Not nearly enough.

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Photo credit: Animal Rescue League of Boston

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301 comments

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10:26PM PDT on Jul 26, 2014

prison now.justice now. stop this now.

4:03AM PDT on Jun 27, 2014

thanks for sharing

7:54PM PST on Dec 31, 2013

We NEED new and stricter laws! Absolutely needed.

6:06PM PST on Dec 30, 2013

Lack of empathy is destroying the world. Sick, sad, and wrong. Please continue to teach empathy to all who will listen.

5:14PM PST on Dec 29, 2013

Georgia G.,
You are wonderful! If only everyone could be like you, that's so very responsible and caring. After all, I feel that animals are like a small child of 2 or 3, certainly adoptions of children are closely monitored, why not animals. Thanks for making my day, Georgia! Bless you, my dear. Happy New Year! :o)

4:56PM PST on Dec 29, 2013

I believe any person selling a dog anywhere has the personal and moral responsibility to do an intensive follow-up on that animal. I've only had to find one dog a home, one I inherited from a friend who died who just would not fit in with mine. I met with the people, got personal and business info and addresses on them, "loaned" them Max for a period of time to determine how he got along with them and how they did with him as he was a difficult little dog. After it was decided they did want him, I made follow up calls AND drop in visits for months after, something I had told them up front I would be doing. Max was a high value dog but I gave him to this family once I determined they would give him the love and attention he had always had. Also, Max had a slight medical condition & on meds that were fairly cheap and I was very upfront with his new people about that making sure they would continue this. If you care for an animal, this is what you must do to make sure that animal's wellbeing is protected.

2:12AM PST on Dec 29, 2013

If he is truely guilty. Put him in the general population. No matter how bad a criminal is, most love animals unconditionally. It's people they don't like...

Take your time with him lads!!

10:16PM PST on Dec 27, 2013

they finaly found and got the sick basterd who killed and tortured puppy DOE!!!!!!!!!! please put him on death row never to be seen or heard from again. this piece of $hit does not belong on our planet.he belongs in a pit of hell surrounded with flames of fire. l can't stand to look at this piece of crap. l hope to God he get's what he deserves....pain forever....just like what he did to puppy Doe a helpless little puppy.send him back to his messed up country and make him wear a big sign that says " l kill and torture puppy's until they die. let his peers kill him. this just makes me so disgustingly sick....:( :(

3:54PM PST on Dec 22, 2013

It sickens me how some people can abuse animals!! I don't understand our justice system. He should get far more than 5 years for what he did to that poor dog!!! When will we start placing a value on animals? I think the punishment should be equal to that of what it would be if he did this to a human being. I hope he's placed in general population and I hope the other prisoners torture him.

2:05PM PST on Dec 22, 2013

I TOTALLY DISAGREE IF HE IS FOUND GUILTY,HE SHOULD NOT BE PUT INTO HOLE,HE ONLY DESERVES TO BE PUT IN GENERAL POPULATION,IN THE HOLE HE WOULD HAVE PROTECTION,IN GENERAL POP,HE WOULD NOT LAST 30 SECONDS.....REST IN PEACE SWEET GIRL.....

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