Ex-cop pleads guilty to animal cruelty

Roderick Walton

A FORMER POLICE officer pleaded guilty yesterday to a summary offense of animal cruelty.

Roderick Walton, 50, was arrested April 23 and accused of leaving his injured dog in the filthy basement of his Northeast Philly home and failing to get it veterinary care for a broken leg. The dog had to be euthanized.

Walton was charged with a misdemeanor and summary offense of animal cruelty. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors yesterday withdrew the misdemeanor charge, Assistant District Attorney Sybil Murphy said.

Also under the plea deal, Municipal Judge Gerard Kosinski ordered Walton to pay restitution of $158.77 to the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The restitution covers the costs of treatment, euthanization and cremation for the dog, Murphy said.

Walton was also ordered to pay a court fine of $750.

Walton, who was a 23-year veteran assigned to Germantown's 14th District, resigned from the force April 22, the day before the District Attorney's Office announced the animal-cruelty charges against him.

The case started with an anonymous tip made last December about an abused dog.

A cruelty prevention officer found an injured Cane Corso named "Bear" in a damp, moldy, back basement room of Walton's home. Walton later admitted his dog's leg had been broken for a week but that he'd been too busy to take him for care, according to the D.A.'s Office.

Walton's attorney, Fortunato "Fred" Perri Jr., said yesterday of the resolution of the case: "We think it was an extremely fair result under the circumstances."

He said the summary offense is equivalent to a traffic citation.

Murphy said that since this was Walton's first arrest, "we were willing to extend an offer to him." But, if Walton ever does something similar again, this guilty plea would be taken into account, she said. He does not have any dogs now, she said.

Walton on Thursday told the Daily News that his basement was not filthy and that he had not told a PSPCA officer that he had been too busy to take his dog to a veterinarian. He said he loved his dog, whom he had for 10 years, and that his dog had a swollen paw, which he was monitoring. He said if the swelling had gotten worse, he would  have taken the dog to a veterinarian.

On Twitter: @julieshawphilly