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Friday, Apr 25, 2008County: Bristol
Alleged: Dennis G. Briglin
A Taunton man is facing charges of assault and battery and animal cruelty for allegedly striking his fiancee and killing their 6-week-old kitten.
Dennis G. Briglin, 45, allegedly punched his fiancée six times in their bedroom and threw a television set on the floor, which crushed their kitten, Winky, as it slept.
Then, according to police accounts, Briglin jumped out of the second-floor window of the apartment he shares with his fiancée, Ruth C. Singleton-Deane.
When police arrived at the scene at 12:27 a.m. Friday, two officers chased Briglin to Hill Street, where they cornered him at a concrete wall and placed him under arrest, said Taunton Lieutenant Michael Silvia.
Briglin was arraigned Friday in Taunton District Court on charges of assault and battery and cruelty to animals, said Silvia. His next court date is June 2.
''I've never seen anything like it," animal control officer Manuel Massa told the Brockton Enterprise. ''I'm glad police charged him."
It was the fourth time Briglin had been charged with assault, Singleton-Deane said. Previously, Briglin allegedly assaulted a police officer, and three prior domestic incidents involved Singleton-Deane. The cases are still pending.
Singleton-Deane said she thought Briglin did not intend to hurt the kitten, and called the animal's death a ''freak accident." Winky was one of five cats that Singleton-Deane and Briglin had as pets.
''He was drunk. I'm trying to get him help. . . . We got into a fight, and he struck me. I didn't want him to leave so I was guarding the door," she said. ''He threw the TV off the stand, and it hit the kitten. I feel really bad. He didn't even know he killed the kitten until he got to court."
Briglin, a printer by trade, has had problems with alcohol, she said. He was once homeless, and kept a kitten in his tent, carrying the pet with him in a box on his bicycle.
''He loves animals," she said. ''We've always had animals. . . . He didn't mean to kill this cat."
Singleton-Deane said she expected Briglin to be sentenced to prison, and that she did not know where she would live. Their landlord is selling their Weir Street apartment, and Singleton-Deane was supposed to move with Briglin to a new apartment down the street.
''Now he's going to be sent away," she said. ''I collect Social Security, because I had two operations on my knees. I can't afford a place by myself."
''I can't stop crying since it happened," she said. ''I don't want to lose my cats. I'm going to be on the street. I don't know what to do."
- The Boston Globe - May 29, 2008
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