Monday, February 14, 2011

Man Accused Of Stealing An Elderly Man's Dog Last Week Says He Has Been Wrongfully Charged

A Toronto man says he’s having a dog of a time trying to figure out why police charged him in an alleged canine theft case in the city’s east end. Sean Dunkley showed up at the Sun newsroom Monday to tell his side of the story after the dogknapping case he’s charged in connection with was featured on the front page of Monday’s Toronto Sun. “Do you think this is a joke — some kind of sick joke this guy is playing on me?” Dunkley asked. “Now I’ve got (the story) on the front page of the Sun and people think I’m a dogknapper.”

The incident centres around the weekend disappearance and subsequent return of a Toronto senior’s dog. John Hildon, 84, said he was taking Goldie, his eight-year old Bichon Frise, for a walk at around 8:15 p.m. Friday. Hildon said he let go of Goldie’s leash when they approached the intersection of Victoria Park Ave. and Ellesmere Rd. as there was a large crowd of people waiting to board a bus. “This guy...looked down (at the dog) and said, ‘Who’s dog is this?’ and I said, ‘I don’t know,’ jokingly. So, this guy grabs the dog,” Hildon said Sunday. Dunkley admitted to being the guy who grabbed the dog and corroborated Hildon’s story about asking who Goldie belonged to. “I see a dog walking down the street; its got a long blue leash and there’s an old man behind the dog,” Dunkley said. “I go, ‘Is this your dog?’ and he goes, ‘No,’ and then he just walks off and leaves me with the dog.” Dunkley said the man continued to walk and left Goldie with Dunkley, so he boarded his bus home with the dog in tow. They returned to Dunkley’s condo just after 10 p.m. where he said he fed the dog, bathed it and then went to bed.

After working all day Saturday Dunkley, a web designer and father of three, said he returned home with his 10-year old daughter around 8 p.m. to find eight cops standing outside his condo. After explaining his side of the story about how he ended up with Goldie, the police issued Dunkley a citation for theft under $5,000 and possession of stolen property. Dunkley said that while two officers questioned him in the foyer of his condo another officer was wandering through the property. At no time was he told he was under arrest or read his rights, according to Dunkley.

Dunkley filed a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Monday. Dunkley said he is being made out as a criminal when he was simply trying to be a Good Samaritan. He admitted to running afoul of the law in the past, including for domestic violence, but insisted he was just trying to do the right thing. In an interview Sunday, Hildon told the Sun the person who took Goldie was a white male. Dunkley is black.
*The Toronto Sun