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March 10, 2010

Dog abuse charges dropped against groomer

Two months after Baltimore County police held a news conference (left, in a picture by The Sun's Algerina Perna) and painted a dog groomer as an organizer of dog fights, prosecutors quietly dropped abuse charges in the case.

The woman, 26-year-old Nicole Caruso, still faces drug and theft charges. But the case that damaged her reputation has now been thrown out. A county prosecutor told me that allegations that the dogs fought (based in part on a dug up yard, pictures of injured animals, a treadmill with paw prints, blood on an inside wall and a doggie medical lab) couldn't be supported.

Authorities said they believe the dogs were trained to be aggressive to guard a suspected marijuana den, which Caruso's friend's deny. Caruso and two others were charged with animal abuse, not dog fighting, but the implication from police charging docuemtns and the news conference was clear: police believed there was an organized dog fighting ring at the house on Lange Street in Dundalk.

Caruso's attorney told me the prosecutor's decision proves that county police made bloated claims at their news conference that unfairly tainted his client before trial. I called the county police on Tuesday and was told flatly, "No comment."

Posted by Peter Hermann at 3:09 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Baltimore County, Breaking news


Of course, "no comment." The police department employs the full power of the government against a private citizen, calls her names, smears her reputation, and gets away with it because the police are "entitled" to immunity. This is what's wrong with government: unmitigated abuse of power with little, if any, chance of being made to pay. Any PD shouldn't be allowed to do this kind of crap unless the case first is vetted by the State's Attorney, and then only if the State's Attorney concludes that the evidence shows that a reasonable jury might believe it beyond a reasonable doubt. Frankly, what's the difference between what the BCPD has done to Nicole Caruso and what the Durham (N.C.) Police Department and Durham County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Nifong did to Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans?

Sure, eliminate all but one of the comments? And leave the one in agreement with the dropped charges?

What can I say...? Racism, bias, prejudice..etc...runs deep. This woman abused her dogs, charges dropped, story pushed to the dark, musky corners of a website. Because only black people get the the crime section. Only Michael Vick gets lambasted for his dog fighting crime. For anyone and everyone else? The details are sketchy at best. Worst? A crime goes unpunished that, for someone born with an unfortunate amount of melanin and ghastly African features, would be cause for picket signs, chanting, raving, and a reaffirmation of 2nd class citizenship.

Eh? We didn't eliminate or reject any comments related tot his story. If you know someone whose comments didn't go through, ask them to re-send. As far as "dark, musky corner of the web" comment, this story was posted online as the top story with a picture on the web site through much of the day Wednesday. So, I don't understand either of your concerns. -Justin

I guess I should have kept looking before I posted my last post. Glad to know the case was dropped regarding the animals but now she has to contend with the drugs.

So many crazy things always going on in the world.

Don't have cash to buy a building? Do not worry, because it is available to receive the mortgage loans to resolve all the problems. Hence get a bank loan to buy all you want.

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About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.

Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.

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