Los Angeles: On May 2, 2012, the Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACTF) was involved in an investigation that involved the brutal beating of a full grown St. Bernard dog.
In this case, witnesses reported that a male transient suspect, later identified as Mark Anthony Toles, was seen beating a St. Bernard dog in the area of Manchester Boulevard and Broadway. According to witnesses, the St. Bernard was minding his own business when Toles forcefully kicked the dog’s hind legs. The dog ran from Toles and tried to hide by a nearby school, which was in session. Toles followed the dog and continued the unprovoked beating. Witnesses reported that Toles used a stick and a street barricade to strike the dog. Police officers were dispatched to the scene and arrested the suspect for animal cruelty. The St. Bernard had to be euthanized due to the severity of its injuries.
On November 21, 2012 a jury convicted Toles of animal cruelty. Sentencing was scheduled for December 13, 2012. Toles is facing up to 12 years in State prison due to a weapons enhancement.
The ACTF was established in 2005 and consists of personnel from the Los Angeles Police Department and the Department of Animal Services. This partnership facilitates a holistic approach to the prevention, intervention, detection, and prosecution of acts of animal cruelty. The success of ACTF is achieved through the investigative expertise of the task force members, the use of veterinary forensics and the prosecution efforts of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The City of Los Angeles aggressively investigates and prosecutes acts of animal cruelty. There is a strong correlation between those who commit acts of animal cruelty and those who commit acts of violence against humans, and the goal of the ACTF is to break the cycle of violence through aggressive prevention, intervention, detection, and prosecution of acts of animal cruelty.
Anyone with information on acts of animal cruelty is urged to contact the ACTF at 213-486-0450. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD- 24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to www.lapdonline.org, and click