Trial set for Baltimore officer accused of slitting dog's throat

Baltimore Police Department booking photo of officer Jeffrey Bolger
Baltimore police officer Jeffrey Bolger is shown in this booking photo released by Baltimore Police Department on June 19, 2014. REUTERS/Baltimore Police Department/Handout via Reuters

ANNAPOLIS Md. (Reuters) - A jury trial has been set for a Baltimore police officer accused of slitting the throat of a dog that had run loose from its home, according to court records filed on Thursday.

Police had restrained the 7-year-old female Shar-Pei named Nala after it bit a woman on the hand.

While the animal was restrained, Officer Jeffrey Bolger, 49, slashed the dog's throat with a knife after saying he would "gut" the animal, according to charging police documents. The dog was killed.

Bolger will face felony animal cruelty charges at a jury trial on July 28, the court filings showed.

Bolger was suspended without pay, arrested and charged, police said. He has been a member of the Baltimore police since 1992 and is assigned to the Special Operations Section.

"It was a complete violation of protocol," police spokesman Eric Kowalczy told a news conference on Wednesday. "It's not often police speak out against one of their own, but we are all truly appalled."

Police said another officer, Thomas Schmidt, a Baltimore policeman since 1990, had been suspended over the case.

(Reporting by John Clarke; Editing by Ian Simpson, Leslie Adler and Peter Cooney)