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Former parks employee accused of stabbing dog now faces felony charge

A former City of Buffalo parks worker lost his bid to be freed on his own recognizance when he was arraigned in State Supreme Court Monday morning on a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals.

James Craddock, 47, also is charged with menacing in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree for allegedly stabbing a dog on a leash and then threatening the dog's owner.

The bizarre incident happened at about 8 a.m. on Sept. 23, when the woman was walking her dog, Audi, near Hillery Park. Craddock, who was on the job as a seasonal city worker and allegedly had had previous encounters with the woman and her pet, confronted her and suddenly pulled out a knife and stabbed the dog.

Other people approached as he reportedly turned on the woman, and Craddock fled in a city-owned truck.

Audi suffered a deep stab wound and significant blood loss, but she was treated at Southtowns Animal Hospital and is recovering well, prosecutor Timothy Garvin said.

Garvin asked Justice M. William Boller to consider raising Craddock's $7,500 bail to $15,000, citing the "strong safety concerns" of the victim, while defense attorney Sara Ryan requested that Craddock, a lifelong Buffalo resident, be released without bail so he could get back to work. Otherwise, she said, he was in danger of losing both his home and all his possessions.

"Get back to work?" the judge said. "He's lost his job with the City of Buffalo."

Noting that Craddock also has a prior felony conviction for weapons possession, Boller continued bail at $7,500 and, for now, Craddock is still in jail.

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said after the arraignment that it was Craddock's bad luck that "he's running across a DA who's a dog lover" and that his office will not make any plea offer to a lesser charge in the case.

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