City worker tied to animal cruelty case has criminal record

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo city worker Shanon Richardson’s felony hearing in Buffalo City Court was adjourned, Tuesday.  A judge was expected to hear arguments on animal cruelty charges that were filed last December.  Instead, that case will now be heard by an Erie County Grand Jury.

In a bizarre twist, one of the dogs seized in this case has gone missing.  It’s unclear where that dog is.  Richardson says he has not gotten any of his dogs back.

Through a number of formal requests for information, News 4 has learned Shanon Richardson has been employed by the City of Buffalo Police Department, as a cell block attendant, since September 17, 2012.  According to BPD’s response, Richardson’s annual salary is $23,130.  He is still collecting that salary, as part of a union contract.

News 4 has also learned Richardson has been arrested before, by Buffalo Police.  According to a police report, dated June 10, 2013, Richardson was arrested after police say he beat his “nine-year-old son with a leather belt attached to a metal belt buckle.”  In this arrest report, the officer notes, “the child was struck several times causing extensive bruising/swelling…”

Richardson was charged with third degree assault, acting in a manner injuring a child less than 17 years old and second degree harassment.  It’s unclear where this case stands in the courts.

Richardson was arrested back in December, when police were called to his home for a purported burglary.  Detectives never found any proof of someone trying to break into his house.  Instead, police say they found four malnourished pit bulls, along with fighting and training equipment.

Since his arrest last year, Richardson has denied training dogs to fight.

A source close to the investigation told News 4 Richardson would have pleaded to lesser charges, Tuesday.  With the case going before a grand jury, it’s unlikely a deal will be made.

News 4 made several calls to Richardson’s attorney, Jorge Derosas.  He is yet to return these phone calls.

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