The man arrested for allegedly stabbing and beating dogs in Prospect Park is free — for now.
Donnell Barden, 42, who police and park-goers say terrorized Brooklyn’s backyard, was released from custody on Aug. 12 after coming up with $2,500 bail, jail officials said. Dog owners who take their canine companions for walks in Prospect Park say they cannot believe the suspected serial dog attacker is out so soon after his Aug. 5 arrest.
“It was a shocker,” said Brown, who testified against Barden at a Downtown grand jury after Barden allegedly sicced his pit bull on her Doberman Pinscher in early August.
Barden faces a charge of aggravated animal cruelty, a felony, as well as counts of menacing, harassment, and criminal possession of a weapon, all misdemeanors. The charges stem from two incidents — the attack on Brown’s Doberman and a May 17 incident in which Barden allegedly stabbed a dog about 10 times and threatened to knife its owner — but park-goers say Barden’s violent spree started as early as February. Before Barden’s release, a judge ordered him to stay away from his supposed victims, both the dogs and their owners, according to the district attorney’s office.
The judge’s words gave little reassurance to Brown after all that she says Barden has done.
“He put his hands on our pets,” Brown said. “There was blood, there was trauma, and it affects everyone in the park.”
Barden’s next court date is Oct. 7, a Department of Corrections spokesman said, and prosecutors are urging other people who have had run-ins with the accused animal assaulter to come forward and testify, according to a letter from the district attorney’s office that Fellowship in the Interest of Dogs and their Owners, Prospect Park’s dog advocacy group, posted on its Facebook page.
“It is really important for [prosecutors] to build a complete, factual, and convincing history of violence on this guy,” fellowship president Garry Osgood said.
Barden’s arrest comes three years after he was released from prison following a 1992 guilty plea for shooting a gun at a police officer, according to the district attorney’s office.
His pit bull will continue to remain in the care of Animal Care and Control, a spokesman for the animal group said.