More proof that dog killers and abusers are already law breakers or will continue to break the law.
A former Columbus firefighter who served a 90-day jail sentence last year for killing his dogs to avoid boarding them was sent back to jail yesterday for violating his probation.
David P. Santuomo, 44, of Fall Water Court on the Northwest Side, will spend 30 days in jail after Franklin County Municipal Judge Harland H. Hale found that he hasn’t complied with most of the terms of his probation.
“My intention is to get your attention,” Hale told Santuomo.
Santuomo pleaded guilty in June 2009 to two counts of animal cruelty and one count of possession of a criminal tool for taping a 2-liter plastic bottle to a rifle as a makeshift silencer and shooting his two dogs in his basement. Investigators said he killed the dogs so that he didn’t have to pay to board them while he vacationed with his girlfriend.
Hale sentenced Santuomo to 18 months in jail and suspended all but 90 days if he complied with his probation.
Assistant County Prosecutor Heather Robinson said Santuomo has yet to make a payment toward the $4,500 in restitution that Hale ordered and has performed only eight of the 200 hours of community service imposed by the judge.
She said he also hasn’t sought treatment ordered for emotional and alcohol-abuse problems. Although he was ordered by the judge not to drink, Santuomo was charged Aug. 6 with drunken driving, Municipal Court records show.
Santuomo said he has been unemployed since he was fired from his firefighting job after the conviction and is behind on rent and child-support payments.
“It feels like I’ve gone from crisis to crisis,” he told the judge.
Defense attorney Sam Shamansky conceded that his client “has been less than an ideal probationer” and has “some serious psychiatric issues.”
Hale warned Santuomo that future probation violations could send him to jail for the remainder of the 18-month sentence.
“There is a point at which you can push me past the brink,” Hale told him. “This is your last chance with me.”