LONDONDERRY – A Haverhill, Massachusetts man was indicted by a New Hampshire grand jury this month after being accused of stabbing a dog in the head at a Londonderry home.
Herminio Filomeno, 35, is facing a misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals based on an incident in May 2020, according to court documents.
An arrest warrant written by a Londonderry detective explains that police were first alerted to the situation by a veterinarian at Bulger Veterinary Hospital in Lawrence.
She reported that circumstances surrounding a dog brought in for emergency care several days prior were suspicious, and that the story given by the dog’s owner was inconsistent with obvious injuries.
Police contacted the dog’s owner, Nicolas Jabour, on Aug. 19, according to the detective. Jabour told police that on the day in question, he was outside of his home on Ash Street with his girlfriend Dawn Loring.
The couple told police that Filomeno was alone inside the home with Jabour’s two dogs, Odie and Diesel, when Odie was injured.
That day, the girlfriend told Jabour that Filomeno wanted to speak to him regarding how to discipline Odie. She explained to police that Filomeno was a diabetic, and Odie would eat food and candy he kept under a couch in the living room.
The relationship between the three is unclear in police paperwork, including whether they live together or if Filomeno was a visitor at the home.
Jabour said he and Loring walked into the house, and as he approached the hallway, saw Filomeno holding a bloody towel wrapped around the top of Odie’s head.
Filomeno’s explanation for the injury was that he separated the dogs from fighting over food, the warrant reads.
Loring, however, said the second dog, Diesel, was calm and laying on a bed nearby. He was uninjured, didn’t have saliva on his body or other evidence to corroborate that a fight had just happened, she told police.
The couple took Odie to Bulger Veterinary Hospital in Lawrence, where he was handed off to emergency room staff, including Dr. Katherine Walden.
Jabour told staff that Odie’s injury was a dog bite, according to police.
In a separate interview with police Aug. 20, Walden described Odie’s injury as a large laceration across the head – starting near the dog’s temple and down toward the right eye.
“The laceration was a clean cut with no swelling or bruising around the outer edges,” the arrest warrant reads. “(Walden) described a groove on the skull that was linear, and a small circular fracture of the skull.”
Walden told police how she looked for additional signs of a dog fight, but did not find any.
Based on her training and experience, she said she was confident that the injury was not caused by a bite, and was certain it came from “a sharp lethal cutting instrument/tool,” the warrant reads.
Jabour and his girlfriend described for police a knife that Filomeno kept on him at all times. Loring said it was approximately a foot long when opened, with a wide blade.
Londonderry police scheduled an interview with Filomeno, who is currently incarcerated at the Essex County Correctional Facility, in Middleton, Massachusetts, for unrelated charges.
Police said Filomeno invoked his right to remain silent when officers arrived and read his Miranda rights in relation to the animal cruelty charge.
Records show that Filomeno has served six months of an 18-month sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, witness intimidation and impersonating a police officer. He is eligible for parole April 17.
In that case, police said Filomeno was angry because he thought a teen used his online PlayStation account without his permission. Police said they discovered a weapon he used to threaten several teens with was a BB gun that looked like a real gun.
According to a police report, officers were dispatched to Arch Avenue in Haverhill about 6:30 p.m., July 22, to investigate a complaint about a suspicious person.
A 19-year-old girl told police that Filomeno had stepped out of a car near her home and claimed he was a Haverhill police officer, even giving her his badge number. She said he was wearing a holster that had a gun at his hip.
He demanded to know where her younger brother was, claiming that a few days earlier, the 15-year-old boy had used Filomeno’s personal PlayStation account to play online games with Filomeno’s stepson, according to a police report.
Police at the time said they had multiple dealings with Filomeno in the past.
Records show he will be on probation for four years and will not be allowed to have guns or weapons when released from custody.
Filomeno is scheduled to be arraigned on the New Hampshire charges March 19 in Rockingham Superior Court.