Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19219
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment, Mutilation/Torture
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Animal was bound
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Judge(s): Elizabeth Kobly

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Sunday, Jan 29, 2012

County: Mahoning

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Alleged
Case Images: 1 files available

Alleged: William Bednar

Case Updates: 3 update(s) available

Puppies were found bound and gagged in Youngstown for the second time in a week. Except this time, the puppies didn't survive.

Dave Nelson, deputy dog warden with the Mahoning County Dog Warden's Office, said the 6-or-7-week-old German shepherd puppies were found near the WRTA terminal downtown. He estimates they had been dead about four or five hours by the time he found them.

"One of the most disgusting things in all of the years I've been here," Nelson said.

He said it's one of the worst animal abuse cases ever discovered in Mahoning County. The puppies were bound, gagged and left for dead about 15 feet behind the WRTA bus station in downtown Youngstown.

"I've been doing this job a long time and haven't seen anything like that in a long time," Nelson said.

He said the knots were tied so tightly and intricately that the more the puppies tried to pull away, the more they were strangled.

"The way that they did this is not your typical animal cruelty," Nelson said.

But what's most alarming to officials is that the gruesome display is eerily similar to another case from just last week. Another puppy of a similar or same breed was found bound and gagged in the exact same way on South Lakeview Avenue, which is on the West Side of the city. A neighbor saw it lying on the porch of a nearby house and called police.

Officials were able to treat that puppy and it did survive.

Authorities are now looking at surveillance tapes from WRTA and surrounding buildings, hoping to find the person, or people that did this.

"A crime like this is they just don't want to bring them to the pound or take them somewhere and drop them off. This was an act for fun, killing, that's what this is, and people like that, you need to prosecute and find them," Nelson said.

Case Updates

A Youngstown man with a history of animal cruelty is in trouble again.

Fifty-six-year-old William Bednar was in court on Wednesday to answer allegations that he violated Ohio laws designed to protect pets.

Bednar has prior convictions for animal cruelty.

Early last year authorities found Bednar pushing a cart full of dead puppies and a falcon in downtown Youngstown.
Source: WFMJ - Jan 2, 2013
Update posted on Jan 7, 2013 - 12:15AM 
Municipal Judge Elizabeth Kobly ordered a halt to further proceedings Friday so a man accused of strangling two puppies can undergo a competency evaluation.

Kobly gave the order for William Bednar, 55, who was arraigned on two felony counts of cruelty to companion animals and two unrelated misdemeanor drug abuse instrument charges.

Bednar told Kobly he has several different addresses, including one near a West Side church ''by the Blessed Mother Statue.''

Bednar, who has two previous misdemeanor animal cruelty charges, is accused of strangling the puppies and leaving them at the Western Reserve Transit Authority bus station Jan. 30. He was charged in that case Thursday.

He is in the Mahoning County Jail in lieu of $60,000 bond - $25,000 for each of the felonies and $5,000 for each of the misdemeanors.

Proceedings in the case are on hold until it is determined if Bednar is competent to stand trial, Kobly said.

He also faces a probation violation because he was on probation after being sentenced on a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge by Judge Robert Douglas in January.

Bednar, who was arraigned via video hookup from the old city jail, told Kobly he has tried to get in touch with U.S. Rep. Timothy Ryan, D-Niles, about his lack of housing and the land bank.

In January, Bednar was sentenced to probation on a public indecency charge out of Mahoning County Court in Austintown. Court records indicate he refused to cooperate in a mental health evaluation in that case.

The deaths of the puppies are among several recent animal cruelty cases. Police and humane agents are looking into the other incidents.
Source: - Feb 18, 2012
Update posted on Feb 18, 2012 - 8:30PM 
Charges have been filed against a homeless Youngstown man accused of killing two puppies, which were found bound and gagged late last month near a WRTA terminal.

William Bednar, 55, faces two charges of cruelty to companion animals in the case. Two 6-or-7-week-old German shepherd puppies were found about 15 feet behind the WRTA terminal in downtown Youngstown.

After a two-week investigation, Mahoning County Deputy Dog Warden Dave Nelson gathered enough evidence and video surveillance to hand the case over to the prosecutor's office.

"Ultimately, though what closed the case for us was the statement of an individual who was present at WRTA at or near the time of the offenses," said Youngstown Prosecutor Jay Macejko.

According to police, Bednar was actually arrested on drug-related charges Wednesday afternoon. Police reports state that he was stopped by Nelson after he saw a peregrine falcon and several other dead animals, including a squirrel, in a shopping cart Bednar was pushing around. Two hypodermic syringes also were found in the cart. Bednar was arrested for possession of drug abuse instruments.

The animal cruelty charges were filed Thursday and are felonies because of his past convictions on similar charges. He was charged once in 2000 and again in 2011.

Investigators still do not know exactly where the German shepherd puppies came from or if this incident could be related to any of the other recent abuse cases reported in the area.

"We did get some other information as far as that, and at this point in time we're glad we have the two charges filed and it is still under investigation, absolutely," said Nelson.

Bednar is expected to be arraigned Friday.
Source: - Feb 16, 2012
Update posted on Feb 16, 2012 - 6:34PM 


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