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Everett landscaper charged with trying to poison dogs

Man fed them antifreeze-soaked hot dogs

Kenneth Hyland

Kenneth Hyland

A landscaper from Everett was arraigned Monday on charges that he attempted to poison dogs by dropping antifreeze-soaked hot dog pieces on a lawn he had just cut in Charlestown on Sept. 16.

It is unclear whether dogs ingested any hot dogs that Kenneth M. Hyland, 53, allegedly scattered over the triangular-shaped lawn of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen Union building at 550 Medford St., officials said.

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Residents say they have observed Hyland in the past leaving pieces of hot dogs on the lawn.

The union declined comment.

Judge Robert J. McKenna ordered Hyland held on $5,000 cash bail and his bail was also revoked for two open cases out of Woburn and Lynn. He was charged with leaving the scene of property damage and assault and battery in those cases.

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Peter Pasciucco, a Suffolk assistant district attorney, said during Monday’s arraignment in Charlestown District Court that Hyland was seen on Sept. 16 carrying a 5-gallon bucket containing hotdogs soaking in a liquid that appeared to be antifreeze.

The solution in the bucket was bluish-green and the hot dogs were cut up.

Hyland was spreading the hot dogs over the newly cut grass, and when a concerned resident asked him if he was trying to poison dogs, Hyland allegedly responded “Yes,” according to a police report.

A brief argument ensued between Hyland and the resident and after Hyland left, the witness picked up the hot dogs and, along with other neighbors, took them to the police station.

The witness said he had also observed Hyland in the past leaving hot dogs on the lawn.

In court Monday, the prosecutor said Hyland has an 11-page record that includes 30 convictions.

According to court records, Hyland has served several years in jail. In the mid 1990s he was arrested dozens of times on charges including assault with a deadly weapon and assault and battery on a police officer.

Hyland’s driving history also includes numerous offenses, ranging from operating under the influence of alcohol to failure to stop.

If convicted of this latest charge — exposing poison with intent that it should be taken or swallowed by an animal — Hyland faces up to 5 years in prison.

Investigators called Hyland on Friday, and he arrived at the police station that day and was arrested.

He posted $1,000 cash bail and was released and instructed to appear in Charlestown District Court Monday.

Markus Chambly, the defendant’s attorney, said his client “vehemently denies” the latest charges. Chambly entered a plea of not guilty on his client’s behalf. Judge McKenna scheduled Hyland to return to court Oct. 19 for a pretrial hearing.

“There are no allegations that any dog was poisoned in any way, or that any dog had access to the lawn,” Chambly told Judge McKenna.

In Charlestown, residents often walk their dogs in the area. As details of the alleged incident traveled through the neighborhood, some dog owners expressed outrage.

One man who watched Hyland as he was escorted out of court into a Sheriff’s Department vehicle suggested that the defendant drink an antifreeze cocktail himself.

“Maybe he ought to work with animals for awhile,” said the onlooker, who only gave his first name, Bill, and said he owns a schnauzer and poodle mix.

Stephanie Hall, a 26-year-old dog walker from Somerville, said she passes the lawn at least once a day with several dogs in tow.

“I love animals and I can’t imagine what kind of disgusting person would do something so cruel, especially just for the sake of a lawn,” she said as she walked a Labrador retriever on Medford Street.

Chambly said the case arises from an ongoing dispute between neighbors. “As the evidence comes out, you will find here an ongoing disagreement between parties here about allowing dogs to . . . defecate on this lawn,” he said.

Brian Ballou can be reached at bballou@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeBallou.
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