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Warwick Man Recorded Flipping Shih Tzu Arrested on Animal Cruelty Charge

The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.
The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.
The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.

WARWICK — A Grove Avenue man recorded grabbing his 15-year-old Shih Tzu by the neck, then throwing it in the air, causing it to flip head-over-heels, twice, then kicking it, is facing an animal cruelty charge after Warwick Police were alerted to the footage March 27.

At 7:29 p.m. that day, Officer Gavin McVeigh was called to 30 Grove Avenue, Apt. 1, where a neighbor had reported animal abuse he’d recorded on a surveillance camera. The man told McVeigh he’d heard his new upstairs neighbor’s dog often yelping as if it is being hurt, according to the officer’s report.

The neighbor told McVeigh the dog was a small white and black, old dog, about 15 years old. He said he was concerned for the dog’s safety. He also told the officer he had footage of the man abusing the dog on DVD.

McVeigh viewed the footage, watching as the man, walking toward the camera, carried the dog by the scruff of the neck, then threw it in the air, causing it to flip head over heels several times before landing. The dog attempted to walk away, but he picked it up and threw it again, causing it to flip multiple times again. Then the man walked up to the dog and kicked it in the head.

The neighbor indicated where the man lived in the building, and McVeigh and Sgt. Joel Thomas knocked on the door and spoke with the residents, a woman and her boyfriend, who was later identified  as Edward F. Sampson, 40, of 30 Grove St., Apt. 4. McVeigh reported he recognized the man from the video.

The woman told the McVeigh that Sampson cares for the dog, Jazzy, and takes him for walks. McVeigh placed Sampson in handcuffs and seated him at the kitchen table. The officer then explained about the footage of Sampson throwing and kicking the dog.

Sampson told his girlfriend at this point that he may have thrown the dog during a black-out. He said he told her that he has black-outs during which he can’t remember what he’s done. The couple explained to McVeigh that they each take several medications, but that Edward had not been able to take his for a month and a half.

McVeigh transported Sampson to Warwick Police headquarters at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive, where the officer charged him with cruelty to animals.

In a written statement, Sampson said he needs help to get back on his medications, and that if he had done what he is being charged with, then he is having episodes again. He wrote that he loves his family and doesn’t want to hurt them or anyone, for that matter. He just wants to live a good life, according to McVeigh’s report.

Warwick’s Animal Control Officer took custody of Jazzy.

Sampson was released on personal recognizance to his girlfriend, with the stipulation that he not be allowed near animals without supervision. He has been scheduled for a July 10 in Third Division District Court.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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