News From the Crime Blotter

Man To Go on Trial For Biting Dog


A San Francisco man who bit his dog as part of a “primal” training regime has been ordered to stand trial on felony charges of animal cruelty.

Furniture mover Steven Maul, 24, allegedly forced his 80-pound Labrador puppy “Boo” to the ground on two separate occasions to administer nips to the neck as part of an unorthodox discipline system.

“Nothing here was cruel or hurtful,” Maul’s attorney, Jasper Monti, told Tuesday’s San Francisco Chronicle after a judge ordered Maul to stand trial on the charges. “My client in fact has French kissed his dog. My client is very oral.”

Witnesses described Boo as yelping wildly as Maul bit him on the neck. In both cases they called authorities to intercede.

Maul has described the bites as part of “nature’s way” of dog training by harnessing evolutionary models of pack behavior. He has denied that his bites draw blood, leave a mark, or cause pain. “There’s no hurting involved,” he told one reporter. “It’s communicating to the dog that you are dominant.”

Boo is being cared for by the Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Maul, who said he spent some $4,500 earlier this year on medical treatment for Boo after he was hit by a car, has suggested that prosecutors are barking up the wrong tree in depicting him as an animal abuser.

“He was the one who finished my burritos and drank out of my water glass,” Maul said of Boo. “I miss him constantly.”

Robbers Be Damned


Agents believe the men fled when they heard the surprised customer outside the United Bank on Thursday, said Mitchell Marrone, who heads the FBI office in Canton.

The woman was about to enter the lobby of the bank when she looked across the parking lot and saw two men wearing stocking cap masks. Although she saw no weapon, she alerted bank employees who called police.

FBI agents and city police searched the area without success.

Hercules Solves Halloween Marijuana Candy Caper


The sleuths at the Hercules police department have solved the case of the pot-stuffed Halloween Snickers bars.

Investigators say the adulterated treats were the result of a failed attempt to mail five ounces of marijuana to somebody in San Francisco.

Hercules Police Chief Mike Tye said it appears the package didn’t have enough postage or had been mis-addressed.

The package didn’t have a return address, so it wound up in the dead-letter office. It was discovered by a postal employee, who decided to hand out the candy to trick-or-treaters Tuesday night.

Officers said the man, who has been cleared of wrongdoing, handed out nine or ten of the bars. Each was stuffed with about 250 dollars worth of pot.

Police said an arrest in the case is not likely.

Crime Blotter is a weekly feature compiled by Michael McAuliff at The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.