BAY RIDGE, Brooklyn –– The New York Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Squad is investigating a rash of animal deaths in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
A group of concerned neighbors has posted a flyer on trees in the area to spread the word.
It says "Warning—Animals are being poisoned in Bay Ridge! Cats, squirrels and birds are suffering extreme and painful deaths."
“There is someone going around killing animals," Brian Baglioni, one of the leaders of the citizens’ group said. "And he might as well be a mass murderer.”
He says the attacks began last August in the area between 88th Street and 93rd Street from Ridge Blvd. to 4th Avenue.
Baglioni says close to a hundred birds have been killed along with a few cats, some squirrels and a couple of dogs. A camera mounted on the fire escape above his apartment captured some disturbing video of what appears to be the killer in action. You can see a man, before dawn, carrying a large pole as he approaches a tree the birds frequent. He uses the pole to knock down a bird feeder and then pours the seed from the feeder onto the ground. He leaves but returns a few minutes later carrying a container and walks up to the same tree. He pours the liquid contents onto the base of the tree, soaking the bird seed.
The liquid is green and appears to be anti- freeze , one of a number of methods the residents says the killer has been using since the attacks started last August.
“Birds started dropping like flies. cats were found dead with no visible means of why they died,” Baglioni said. Even a couple of dogs have died.
“The dogs just ate something from the ground and just died right there, convulsed on the spot,” Barlioni said.
Neighbors have found the anti-freeze and a white powder that appears to be boric acid at the base of a number of trees. They’ve also found bowls of bird feed mixed with shards of glass, and what appears to be rat poison or other types of harmful chemicals. A copy of the disturbing video has been turned over to the police, but we’re told investigators have been unable to identify the man’s face because the picture is too grainy when it’s blown up.
Baglioni says the whole neighborhood is in a stir.
“Bay Ridge has always been a great neighborhood," Baglioni said. "We’ve always had birds, bird feeders, cats running around. We treat them as pets.”
But the rash of animal deaths is forcing people to question the wisdom of putting food out. And it’s not just the animals they’re worried about. One neighbor said he won’t let his four-year-old grandson walk the sidewalk alone, especially near the trees.
"These kids are always picking up stick," he said. "Anything could be on there. And he puts his hands in his mouth.”