Public Works Commissioner speaks out after employee accused of stabbing dog

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- The City of Buffalo has fired an employee accused of stabbing a dog over the weekend.

“This is unacceptable, this won’t be tolerated for any city employee or anyone out there,” said Steve Stepniak, the commissioner of public works, parks and streets.

According to police, early Saturday morning James Craddock got out of a city vehicle near Mineral Springs Rd. and Frank Ave., talked with a woman walking a dog and then stabbed the dog. The 46 year old was on the clock at the time of the incident.

We’ve learned Craddock was with another city employee in the vehicle when it left the scene. The other employee is cooperating with BPD.

The dog, Audi, needed emergency surgery. Her family told News 4 they have been threatened by Craddock in the past.

City officials told News 4 Craddock was hired by the city in January as a season parks worker, doing jobs like cleaning up the parks the mowing the grass.

We asked Stepniak how they vet their employees.

“Unfortunately you’re going to have incidents,” he said. “They run through the civil service process. We’re always about giving people opportunities and in some cases it just doesn’t work out.”

Stepniak said he got the call about the incident Saturday morning and worked with BPD on their investigation.

“We’re very sympathetic, most of us are animal owners,” he said.

He told News 4 they took immediate action to fire Craddock. Stepniak also talked to Audi’s family on Saturday. He said they are discussion how they can help the family moving forward.

Craddock is charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, criminal possession of a weapon and menacing.

He will be back in court at 9:30 on Friday. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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