A Cambridge man pleaded not guilty in Boston Municipal Court today to charges that he “tormented” a police dog by hissing, grunting, and barking at the dog, who was in the back of a cruiser, according to a Suffolk district attorney’s spokesman.
Antonio Brown, 25, was released on his own recognizance, said spokesman Jake Wark.
An MBTA Transit Police officer and his K-9 partner, Viktor, were stopped at a red light in their cruiser on Massachusetts Avenue at Washington Street in Boston at about 7:50 p.m. Tuesday, Transit Police said in a statement.
Brown, who was walking in the crosswalk, stepped up to the vehicle. He started tapping on the car’s rear window where Viktor was seated, and allegedly began agitating him, according to Transit Police.
Viktor became excited and jumped and spun around. He suffered a small laceration next to his left eye, which required treatment from his handler, Transit Police said.
The officer got out of his cruiser to speak to Brown, but he ran away, laughing, Transit Police said. He then entered a vehicle and drove away.
The officer stopped the vehicle and took Brown into custody on a charge of willfully tormenting a police dog, according to Transit Police.
Brown is being represented by attorney Danatos Lallos, who could not be immediately reached for comment. He is to return to court on May 20.
The charge of tormenting a police dog carries a maximum penalty of a $500 fine or 2½ years in prison, or both.Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on twitter @jacktemp.