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Probation violation tied to cruelty case

September 25, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - A former Hagerstown man who served 90 days in jail for breaking a dog's leg was in Washington County Circuit Court on Monday for violating his probation in a 2005 misdemeanor theft case.

John Edward Mock Sr., 48, was convicted in June of animal cruelty, which triggered a violation of probation in the theft case.

Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III imposed the original 90-day sentence for the theft conviction, suspended the jail time and ordered Mock to serve two years of unsupervised probation. As special conditions of his probation, Mock was not to abuse any domesticated animals and was to contribute $300 to the Humane Society of Washington County by Nov. 23, Boone ordered.

On Feb. 24, Hagerstown Police officers responded to Mock's home for a call of a man attempting to kill a dog, Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Arthur Rozes said during Mock's hearing June 4. Mock picked up a Chihuahua named "Poncho" and pulled its legs apart, Rozes said. When officers arrived, Mock made his way to a gate and attempted to release three Rottweilers, and officers subdued him with a Taser, Rozes said.

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In court that day, Mock blamed the drug PCP for his strange behavior.

Mock now lives in West Virginia and keeps three small dogs, three Rottweilers, cats and birds on his property, he said in court Monday.

Mock "clearly should have no contact with animals," Assistant State's Attorney Dunlap said.

The state asked that as part of Mock's punishment, he not be allowed to keep animals in his home, Dunlap said.

That request was "ludicrous," Assistant Public Defender Loren R. Villa said. Animal control officials could have removed animals from the Mock residence if that were necessary, she said.

Dunlap later amended his request to Mock not being allowed to keep dogs.

Boone allowed Mock to have animals.

"That includes everything from elephants all the way down to dogs and cats," Boone said.

Villa suggested that Mock make a donation or volunteer his time to the Humane Society.

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