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Youngstown man arraigned in woman's beating, dogs' deaths

Published: Thu, April 24, 2014 @ 12:07 a.m.



By Joe Gorman



A man accused of stabbing his girlfriend’s dog to death and keeping another dead dog in a refrigerator was arraigned on domestic-violence and animal cruelty charges Wednesday in municipal court.

Magistrate Anthony Sertick set bond for 43-year-old Todd Wollen at $2,500 with Wollen allowed to post 10 percent.

A pretrial hearing will take place at a later date.

Wollen, of Burbank Avenue, has been in custody since he was arrested by police about 6:30 p.m. in the 100 block of North Schenley Avenue on the West Side.

Reports said that police were called to a North Portland Avenue home Sunday, where a woman told them Wollen earlier had dropped off her dog, Grace, after he had killed it and that he had beat her on April 7.

Police went to Wollen’s home to look for him and found another of the woman’s dogs dead in the freezer. Two other dogs were unharmed, although one appeared to be malnourished, according to a report. Police took those dogs and gave them to the woman, reports said.

Wollen was not at the home and later was arrested after police spotted the van he was driving and pulled it over.

In court Wednesday, Wollen’s lawyer, Heidi Hanni, told Magistrate Sertick that her client denies killing any dogs and that the dog in the freezer was put there by the woman, who wanted to save it to be cremated.

“My client will deny all allegations regarding the dogs,” Hanni said.

Hanni said the woman is on medication for psychiatric issues and that her client has no prior offenses “other than bad choices.”

City Prosecutor Dana Lantz said that an investigation is ongoing into the death of the dog in the freezer and Wollen was charged with the death of the dog that was stabbed. She said police still are having a hard time getting a story from the woman about the dog in the freezer because she is very distraught. She said Wollen held the woman against her will.

“She is in desperate fear for her safety,” Lantz said.

An arrest report said Wollen’s home was in disrepair and smelled of animal feces. There also were six cats inside the home, reports said.

Magistrate Setrick also issued a no-contact order, not just for the woman, but any animals she may own.

Hanni said her client will not cause any trouble.

“He fully intends to stay away from the alleged victim,” Hanni said.


1mrgibson(308 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

My client will deny all allegations regarding the dogs,” Hanni said.

Well imagine that shocking isn't it !!!
I'm sure he's somehow a victim too
What sick,twisted cruel society we have allowed to exist....disgraceful !!

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2kensgirl(1056 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Especially defense attys They're in it for the money. Hanni stated that "he has made some bad choices". No crap. Another Hanni generation steps up to the plate to defend POS. And Youngstown is voted most miserable because........

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3luvsdogs(70 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Croley’s lawyer, Heidi Hanni, told the judge that her client is very sorry and remorseful, noting he lost his business. She said he made poor decisions, adding he had been in the process of a divorce. - See more at: http://www.vindy.com/news/2009/jan/23...

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4billdog1(5771 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

I've seen spouses do things like this man is claiming this woman is doing. Somehow I think both these people are messed up. Why do people keep seeing each other when nothing good is coming from the relationship? It's like constantly walking into a room where one keeps getting hit with a ball bat, yet they keep going back.

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5papa1(711 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

they walk among us. and vote.

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6native28(1 comment)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

The woman accuses him of beating her 2 weeks ago and just now tells the police. And the supposed beating was him shoving her and knocking her head against the bed. Was he trying to get away from her? She is twice his size, has had her kids taken away by children services for her mental issues, and can't tell anyone what happened to the dog she put in the freezer. He has no record at all. Where are the witnesses other than the chick who slipped off her meds? Yeah, let's all believe her and hang him!

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