By JOE BELANGER, QMI Agency
LONDON, Ontario – All Dan Palmer wanted to do was stop the dogs from being beaten.
Instead, Palmer was beaten and is clinging to life in critical condition at London Health Sciences Centre’s Victoria Hospital.
“Dan has a good heart and he heard those dogs in distress and he went upstairs and told them to stop beating the dogs,” said Gary James, 43, a longtime friend of Palmer.
“He’s a special guy. Everybody here loves him and there isn’t one person here who isn’t hurting because of what happened to Dan.”
Palmer, 49, was found in a stairwell at the nine-storey apartment building across the street from police headquarters, after officers went there around 1:30 a.m. Friday to investigate a report that someone was beating dogs in a ninth-floor apartment.
The officers arrived and heard dogs yelping in pain, then entered an apartment where three dogs were cowering in fear.
Police called Animal Control officers to rescue the animals, then arrested Christopher Martin, 26, of London, and charged him with causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal.
When police started to walk Martin out to a cruiser they were confronted by another man who tried to stop them, became belligerent and bit the arresting officer on the hand.
The man charged with beating Palmer and biting the officer is Carl Boyer, 26, of London, who is charged with aggravated assault.
Residents at the apartment complex on the weekend Saturday and Sunday said it was Palmer who called police either before or after a verbal confrontation at the apartment where the dogs lived.
Several said they’d seen a man kick at the dogs in the past “for not listening.”
“A couple of days ago I saw him kick one of the dogs and I confronted him and told him not to kick the dog and he said he’d get someone to beat me up,” said James.
As a QMI Agency reporter interviewed residents, at least two people stopped by in cars asking about the dogs, whether they could adopt them and wanting to identify the man accused of beating them.
“I want to kick his a–,” said one man before driving away.
It was not immediately known where the dogs are being sheltered.
Residents were clearly angry, among them Susan Skelton, 42, who lives three floors below the apartment where the dogs were being abused.
Skelton said she was awakened by the dogs yelping in pain but didn’t do anything about it after hearing Palmer go upstairs to confront the dog owner.