Image courtesy Stray Rescue of St. Louis.
St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - A 31-year-old local man was charged Tuesday regarding the mutilation of dogs in a gang house in a North St. Louis City neighborhood.
Darick Stallworth was taken into custody Monday afternoon, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said.
Stallworth was charged with three counts of animal abuse and two counts of animal neglect or abandoment.
According to Randy Grim, founder of Stray Rescue of St. Louis, police notified him on May 15 that a dead dog was hanging out of a second-story window of an abandoned home in the 5300 block of Wells Avenue, located in Hamilton Heights.
Grim said he and two other staffers went to the home and discovered four other dead dogs in the residence, the walls of which were covered in gang graffiti.
The dogs had been tortured.
Rescuers found chains and electrical cords, which had been used to restrain and strangle the dogs. They discovered skeletal remains of one dog that had been choked to death, as well as the remains of one dog that had been burned. Grim suspects the animal was alive when it was burned.
Grim said x-rays were performed on the body of the dog in the window, revealing that the animal died as a result of a crushed larynx.
Stray Rescue had been offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible.
Investigators said witnesses informed them Darick Stallworth had been seen with two pit bulls at the vacant property. Both dogs were chained in the yard and appeared extremely malnourished with no source of food or water. Both animals were chained in such a way that they were living in their own feces.
Police said Stallworth admitted to throwing one of the pit bulls into the basement of the vacant home and eventually killed the dog by crushing its larynx with a cable cord.
The day after the dogs were discovered, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay posted to his blog that the key to combating animal abuse is calls to 911 and be a willing witness in reporting these events.