New charges filed against Sharpsville man accused of tormenting - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Investigators say the suspect used a drone to torment K-9s

New charges filed against Sharpsville man accused of tormenting police dogs

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SOUTH PYMATUNING TWP., Pa. -

New charges have been filed against a Sharpsville man who is already awaiting trial for allegedly using a drone to fly over a South Pymatuning Township kennel, tormenting and injuring several police dogs.

Thirty-two additional charges have been filed in district court against 67-year-old Robert Layman for an incident that occurred in South Pymatuning Township on August 13.

Court records don't elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the incident, but Layman faces 21 counts of harassment, nine counts of disorderly conduct, and two counts of ecoterrorism.

Layman is charged under provisions of Pennsylvania's ecoterrorism law prohibiting people from intimidating or coercing a person taking part in an activity involving animals, or preventing or obstructing a person involved in such an activity.

A May 2 preliminary hearing has been set in that case.

Meanwhile, Layman is scheduled to go on trial in June for an incident that allegedly took place on October 8 at the Shallow Creek Kennel, a privately owned police service dog training facility.

Investigators say Layman flew a drone over the kennel upsetting K-9 dogs so much that they injured themselves.

According to a criminal complaint, one dog had its eyes gouged out, another dog broke a hip and seven more dogs were treated for broken teeth.

The owner says the dogs were disqualified from a K-9 team due to their injuries.

Neighbors also filed complaints stating the drone would fly over their backyard where children were playing.

Of the fifty charges originally filed in the case, Laymen still faces trial on three charges of taunting police dogs and 12 counts of harassment.

Layman's sentence could include an order to pay restitution, would include about $70,000 in veterinarian charges and replacement costs, according to officials.

He could be liable for training replacement dogs and lost time for the police officers as well.

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