Suspect in 'puppy doe' case wanted in New Bedford theft

Radoslaw Czerkawski

A man accused of torturing a dog that was found barely alive in Quincy, Mass., is wanted in connection with a church theft in New Bedford, police said.

New Bedford police said Radoslaw Czerkawski stole more than $6,000 from St. Lawrence Church in early 2012 while saying there. He said he was interested in being a pastor.

Police said Czerkawski will eventually face charges of cashing 11 stolen checks.

"It was determined at the time that Mr. Czerkawski had access to a cabinet in the office and had stolen the checks," New Bedford police Capt. Steven Vicente said.

Czerkawski, 32, was arraigned Tuesday in Quincy District Court on 11 counts of animal cruelty and one count of misleading police in the so-called "puppy doe" case. He was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail.

Police said a pit bull-type dog about 1 year old had been starved, abused and mutilated. The dog had to put down because of the extent of its injuries.

"We don't understand a motive. Who has a motive for something like this? I think it's probably just a sick individual," Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan said.

Czerkawski was arrested last week in New Britain, Conn. It was not immediately known who is representing him.

The case prompted calls for tougher penalties in Massachusetts for animal abuse.