BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore police officer beat and choked his girlfriend's 7-month-old puppy and texted her a photo of the dog's body, authorities said Wednesday.
Alec Eugene Taylor of Silver Spring, a five-year veteran of the Baltimore department, was charged with aggravated animal cruelty, which is a felony, and abuse or neglect of an animal. He surrendered to Montgomery County Police on Wednesday.
A voicemail left with a number that appears to be Taylor's, based on online records, was not returned. It was not immediately clear if Taylor has a lawyer.
County police said Taylor's girlfriend called them on Feb. 28 and said Taylor had killed Rocko, a Jack Russell terrier, two days earlier. They said the girlfriend told them Taylor had texted her that the dog defecated on the carpet and he killed it. Police say Taylor texted her a photo of what appeared to be a dead dog.
Authorities said Taylor, 27, told his girlfriend he had beaten the dog with a mop and put his body in an outdoor trash bin. Police said Taylor retrieved the dog's body at his girlfriend's request, and she buried Rocko in a park
Officers with the Animal Services Division recovered the body and said a necropsy showed the cause of death was blunt force trauma. Authorities said Taylor told Animal Services that he used a mop to force Rocko from behind a dryer and choked the dog with his hands.
Baltimore police said Taylor was suspended without pay on Wednesday. The department said in a statement, "Allegations of animal cruelty are taken seriously by the Baltimore Police Department. Over the course of the last year significant emphasis has been placed on developing and training investigators to handle animal abuse incidents in Baltimore."