On Wednesday, July 26th, 2023, around 8:25 p.m., Officers responded to the 900 block of South Geddes Street for an injured animal complaint. Upon arrival, Officers located a black and white female pitbull that appeared to be stabbed once in the neck. Officers were able to secure the dog in the rear of their patrol vehicle and transport it to the Veterinary Medical Center of CNY for medical attention. The dog ultimately died as a result of the injuries.
As the dog was transported, other Officers remained on the scene speaking to witnesses and attempting to find the owner of the dog. While Officers were on scene, a male approached them and identified himself as Thomas Hemmingway and reported he had stabbed the dog in self-defense. Hemmingway claimed the dog bit him on his right leg, so he had stabbed the dog once and ran off. Hemmingway pulled up his pant leg to show where the dog "bit" him, but there were no injuries.
The case was turned over to the Animal Cruelty Division for further investigation. It was later found through video evidence that Hemmingway was not attacked by the dog. Hemmingway walked west down Delaware Street towards the location where an unidentified male had the dog on a leash. Hemmingway had what appeared to be a large butcher knife in his right hand as he approached the dog. He attempted to grab the dog by the neck or collar when the dog reacted. Hemmingway then stabbed the dog once in the neck. The dog was released by the unknown male who had it on a leash and it got away from Hemmingway. Hemmingway proceeded to antagonize the dog by stepping towards it and raising the knife above his head and yelling. Hemmingway then calmly walks away from the dog. After being stabbed, the dog wandered into a corner store until Police arrive.
It was determined by the Animal Cruelty Division that Hemmingway did not stab the dog in self-defense, and he was subsequently arrested for Aggravated Animal Cruelty, an unclassified felony, and lodged in the Onondaga County Justice Center.