Animal activists call for justice in New Bedford cruelty case

SE Mass

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Two weeks after a video surfaced of a man in New Bedford appearing to beat a dog with a pipe, the suspect is still on the run.

On Saturday, animal activists rallied on the steps of New Bedford City Hall.

They say their issue is with the police response time. Three hours went by before police arrived at the scene, according to activists.

“The ball was severely dropped,” Brian Harrington, president of Odie’s Place Animal Rescue said.

Harrington said the video sent to him on Oct. 9, appearing to show a man beating a dog with a pipe, was immediately brought to New Bedford police’s attention.

“We’re 50 feet away from where I walked into at 1:40 p.m. They arrived at 5:07 p.m. Why is that?” he said.

Police identified the suspect as Miguel Martinez, 41, of Cottage Street, a man they know well.

Court records show Martinez has been arrested three times since the beginning of the year. Most recently, he was arrested in April for allegedly selling drugs out of his house.

It’s the same property police removed four dogs from following the latest animal cruelty accusations. Police say the dogs appeared to be unhurt but were taken for evaluation as a precaution.

For the people gathered on Saturday, questions still loom.

“Why would the police watch this and sit on it for three hours and no response, and now they can’t find the guy,” Harrington said.

Eyewitness News contacted New Bedford police who said they couldn’t speak about the specific accusations. Police did say that everything surrounding the entire circumstances is being looked at internally.

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