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Orting man pleads not guilty to beating neighbor’s dog with hatchet

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on March 21, 2012 at 7:11 pm with 51 Comments »
March 21, 2012 8:02 pm

An Orting man pleaded not guilty today to first-degree animal cruelty after police found a severely injured dog belonging to his neighbor tied up in his garage.

Someone called 911 on Tuesday after allegedly seeing Ricky Lee Knowles, 55, beating a dog with what appeared to be a hatchet.

Officers responded to Knowles’ home on Williams Street NW and called for Knowles to come outside. The man eventually exited the garage and officers spotted the dog tied to a pole.

According to charging documents:

The dog was bleeding profusely from its head and neck and a pair of bloody pants laid next to the pup.

After police notified the dog’s owner of what happened, the owner informed officers that Knowles did not have permission to have his dog and that the dog was kept in a fenced backyard.

Animal control officers  had to cut a piece of wire matted with dog hair from around the dog’s neck.

Police obtained a search warrant and found bloody pants, blood-splattered cutting tools, a bloody garbage can and dog treats.

They also found blood in a backyard shed and a hammer covered in blood and dog hair. A fire pit next to the shed had a bloodied plastic cover on it.

Knowles’ bail was set at $20,000.

Leave a comment Comments → 51
  1. Poor dog!
    This guy may graduate next to torturing humans, if not taken out of circulation!

  2. JarnaRainey says:

    Hopefully this man will get a strong message that animal abuse will not be tolerated. Poor dog indeed.

  3. Whatever1214 says:

    I wonder if this was a barking dog problem that finally drove the guy over the edge. I have a neighbor that has two big stupid labs that bark all day. I have talked to him and he does nothing. I have called the police and they are always to busy to do anything. It just goes on and on with no end.

    A constantly barking dog can drive you up the wall.

  4. dinseattle says:

    So he bails out with $2,000? Holy cow! This guy has serious issues. Maybe someone could show him how it feels? This is beyond animal cruelty!

  5. Reads like a nightmare-inducing horror tale! Was covered on this evening’s local News , the dog’s wounds bore testimony to the savage attack.
    Bail too low, and echoing ithsmay’s train of thought, if he would carry out an obviously calculated atrocity against a neighbor’s pet, imo such a degree of evil could too easily lead to like actions against humans.

  6. skippythedog says:

    …not the last we’ll hear about this guy……..Question is: Who’s next?

  7. Orting Police require 3 people to file a complaint concerning the exact same barking incident before they will cite the owner. Homeowners Association CC&Rs have no teeth and they don’t get involved. I’ve been in the dog yapping all day long predicament. Asked the neighbors politely to take care of it and they look at you like you’re a space alien. The only thing wrong this guy did was he beat the dog instead of the neighbor – same jail sentence so what’s the diff?

  8. Dogs bark all day long due to lack of attention, that’s neglect on the owner’s part. Just because you happen to be the only neighbor with an acute sense of hearing and the neighbors around you wouldn’t say schit if their mouths were full, doesn’t mean you should have to endure hours of relentless barking until the owners get home from work.

  9. Dogs bark all day long due to lack of attention, that’s neglect on the owner’s part. Just because you happen to be the only neighbor with an acute sense of hearing and the neighbors around you wouldn’t say itshay (pig latin) if their mouths were full, doesn’t mean you should have to endure hours of relentless barking until the owners get home from work.

  10. bobbysangelwife says:

    Who gives a RATS BUTT what the dog was doing?!?! This isn’t about a dog yapping all day or whatever—this is about a poor dog who was BEATEN and BUTCHERED by a ‘human being’ RELENTLESSLY.

    And bail is 20000, not 2000 folks. Still set too low in my opinion.

    There’s a special place in hell for this ‘person’.

  11. dinseattle says:

    $2,000 is 10% of what he needs to put down to get the bail bondsman to get him out. I know it is $20,000.

  12. duke_of_hurl says:

    does anyone have the address

  13. magnolia11 says:

    Did you read the whole article? The owner has not been paying attention to his dog for a while. There was a wire matted with hair around the dog’s neck. That dog had been in there days if not weeks. Also, Crazy John-Wayne Gasey has obviously been killing other things by the sound of that fire pit. Let’s not let him out!! I want a ticket issued to the owner also. You get all that when I become King.

  14. EasternWaGirl says:

    This poor, innocent dog was tortured! I would be extremely concerned for the welfare of all animals and children in this community. I don’t care if there was a barking dog issue, as an adult, as a human being, you don’t bash the dogs head in while tied to a pole with a hatchet. For those of you who think this is okay, you have real troubles. These problems can be dealt with in a sane and civil manner! This owner is attentive and tried to work with Mr. Knowles to resolve his concerns. The wire around the dog’s neck is not from the owner’s maybe this freak has tried to get the dog before. This is a very heartbreaking, horrifying story and makes me want to cry.

  15. Lifeinfoco says:

    GRRR….I don’t care what the dogs were doing. You speak to the owner about it; you don’t torture a defenseless and innocent animal. I hope he rots in jail.

  16. PiecesOfYou says:

    @whatthehell- You are just as disturbing and disgusting as that monstrous creature Knowles. If you were truly serious about your comment then you belong on a slab next to him. If you weren’t that was a cruel and sick joke. As a member of the supposedly superior species I think you need to take another dip in the primordial soup, apparently you didn’t cook long enough. As humans we have a responsibilty to nature to be the stewards and protectors of nature.
    To Everybody has anyone found any other reports of how the dog is doing, will he be able to recover, can the owner afford the vet bill? If you have can you please post the link? I would like to help if I can.

  17. I live in this community, just a few blocks away. I am horrified and frightened for the welfare of my own child, and pets. I know this family, and they are wonderful, loving people. They love their pets. Kona is the sweetest, gentlest dog you could ever meet. Kona was certainly not a neglected pet. Dogs bark by nature. Pet owners can’t be home 24/7. A fifty something year old adult “man” should certainly have coping skills far beyond severely torturing, beating and likely poisoning an innocent animal. We all know that these types of behaviors are prevalent amongst serial killers. This man is a danger and threat to any community. What would he do to children, if he lived next door to a school, daycare or park? Knowles is evidently a very unstable person. I would like to see the State mandate a psychiatric evaluation, along with prosecuting him to the fullest extent of the law. He is clearly a danger to others. My thoughts and prayers are with Kona, and his family.

  18. Kinimesa says:

    Was the ‘wire matted with dog hair’ something the owners had done? They failed their dog if they left it tied up alone all day. Dogs are pack animals and will try to connect by barking, relieve stress by barking, etc. They and the sicko who tortured this animal failed him. I have dogs and would never leave them outside to randomly bark and annoy my neighbors; it’s just plain common sense.

  19. The City of Orting policy of requiring 3 complaints about the same barking incident from 3 separate people and the ignorance of the dog owners to heed a request about controlling their barking dog have created this problem. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs and no, this dog shouldn’t have been abused / tortured by this person, but the blame needs to be placed where it belongs – on the City of Orting and the Owners of the dog….We all have the right to peace and quiet and there are ordinances about incessant noise. It’s a violation of MY RIGHTS to have to endure YOUR dog’s barking while you leave him outside all day long so he won’t pee in your house while you’re at work.

    PS – Rose, you’re a little over the top, sure the dog was gentle and nice, but the barking and the lack of concern by the City and Owners to deal with the problem when it first came about created the problem. Change the City’s policy so this doesn’t happen again – I went through it for 5 years with two different sets of neighbors and it isn’t fun.

  20. Kinimesa – AMEN !

  21. everybodiesmom says:

    First off, anyone not terribly disturbed by what that poor dog went through has some serious issues. Nothing, human or animal, deserves to be tortured for any reason! No where in the story does it say the dog barked. I would imagine that the owners did not tie their dog up with wire and that the matting came from the beating and blood.

  22. Copper2Steel says:

    This article says NOTHING about WHY Knowles did what he is accused of doing — annoyance of barking dog or otherwhise. Readers should not speculate about the dog or the dog’s owner at this point. Even the wire cannot yet be attributed to the dog’s owner or Knowles.

    What you can deduce is that it appears what happened was VERY violent — blood everywhere, bloody clothes, bloody cutting tools, plastic sheeting with blood splatters — and there is absolutely no reedemable excuse or reason for what officers found.

  23. Copper2Steel says:

    This article says NOTHING about WHY Knowles did what he is accused of doing — annoyance of barking dog or otherwise. Readers should not speculate about the dog or the dog’s owner at this point. Even the wire cannot yet be attributed to the dog’s owner or Knowles.

    What you can deduce is that it appears what happened was VERY violent — blood everywhere, bloody clothes, bloody cutting tools, plastic sheeting with blood splatters — and there is absolutely no reedemable excuse or reason for what officers found.

  24. EasternWaGirl says:

    The wire was matted with blood and hair because that psycho used it to tie the dog up in his garage! I’m sure the dog struggled trying to free itself as this unholy person beat him. People are so quick to condemn the owners, very sad. This creature needs to be removed from society before he injures someone or something else.

  25. pungentsound says:

    If you beat your dog with a hatchet……….YOU might be a Pierce County Red Neck.

  26. BlaineCGarver says:

    Sick, Sick SOB and deserves everything coming to him. There also should be a special place in hell for dog owners that keep there dog outside disturbing their neighorhood while they are at work. I crate trained my little yapper, and he spends the day inside where he bothers no one. Barking dogs anytime are mind numbing, and at night while trying to sleep…..well, it’s on the owner what happens next.

  27. Bail should have been set at $200,000 – not $20,000. This individual is clearly not playing with a full deck. What is it with Pierce County?! There does seem to be a higher percentage of folks who “just ain’t right in the head” for some reason. Does the lower cost of living attract them to this area?

  28. Ted Bundy used to do stuff like that when he was young.

  29. This “A” hole and his gene pool need toi be eliminated from the human race. I’d volunteer to flip the switch.

  30. This “A” hole and his gene pool need to be eliminated from the human race. I’d volunteer to flip the switch.

  31. BlaineCGarver says:

    So, Bob, you think anyone related to the dude should be killed?

  32. He ,mite think about moving.

  33. LoveOrting says:

    For all of you wonderful people that read the story and could plainly see the gravity of this situation, thank you – thank you for knowing right from wrong and having a heart. For those of you that defend Knowles behavior because you too have been bothered by a barking dog or those of you that have the audacity to blame the owners – shame on you and I pray that none of our are chosen for the jury in this trail and justice will be served and Knowles gets exactly what he deserves and please take a moment and ask yourselves how would you explain this situation to your 6 and 9 year olds who do not understand why Kona can’t come home from the Pet Hospital.

  34. LoveOrting says:

    It’s amazing to me how quick some people are to make judgments and “try” and defend what this lunatic did. What Ricky Knowles did is unspeakable, regardless if the dog barked or not. He coaxed the dog out of the garage, not just the backyard, but out of his neighbor’s garage, took him into his own garage, tied him up and beat him with a hatchet, crushed his skull in a calculated attempt at killing this poor defenseless animal. Who in their right mind can defend that?

    Like Rose, I live in this community and I know this family very well. They are wonderful and compassionate human beings that love their dogs like they are family members; this is without a doubt not a case of neglect and I find myself offended that some would even suggest such a thing. The one time Knowles complained about Kona barking they went to great measures to make sure they addressed the issue, so much so they would bring Kona over to our house if they were going to be gone for an extended amount of time.

    There is another case against Knowles who shot at another neighbor’s dog last summer while an 11 year old girl was taking him for a walk in the green belt back behind Knowles house.

    What Knowles did is unspeakable, he has a history and he is clearly unstable, and allowing him out on $2,000 bail and allowing him to return to our neighborhood is a travesty

    I am thankful to the neighbor that called the policy and for the Orting policy department for responding so quickly, it only because of these folks that Kona is still alive today was because of these people Kona is a live today.

  35. LoveOrting says:

    Like Rose, I live in this community and I know this family very well. They are wonderful and compassionate human beings that love their dogs like they are family members; this is without a doubt not a case of neglect and I find myself offended that some would even suggest such a thing. The one time Knowles complained about Kona barking they went to great measures to make sure they addressed the issue, so much so they would bring Kona over to our house if they were going to be gone for an extended amount of time.

    There is another case against Knowles who shot at another neighbor’s dog last summer while an 11 year old girl was taking him for a walk in the green belt back behind Knowles house.

    What Knowles did is unspeakable, he has a history and he is clearly unstable, and allowing him out on $2,000 bail and allowing him to return to our neighborhood is a travesty.

    I am thankful to the neighbor that called the policy and for the Orting policy department for responding so quickly, it only because of these folks that Kona is still alive today was because of these people Kona is a live today.

  36. LoveOrting says:

    Sumner Veternary is taking donations for Kona’s care, they can be reached at 253-863-2258

  37. rawdibob says:

    One of the “blessing” of going over the handlebar of my bicycle is that I will NEVER again be chased by loose Rottweillers or any other dog. I wonder what would happen to me if I caught and beat one of them? I did carry a choke chain but…

  38. Magnolia 11:
    I got that too. Wire matted with fur around the doggies neck. This dog was being neglected long before “hatchet guy” got hold of it. Hope the owner gets some too!

  39. LoveOrting says:

    NO you did not get it! The only abuse to this dog was at the hands of Ricky Knowles, not his owners!!! Knowles had the dog tied up with the wire around his neck while he beat him. . . almost to death with a hatchet. This was a very well care for dog, that did not run the street, chase kids or hurt anyone. He was in his own garage when Knowles coaxed him out, this was a calculated malicious act.

  40. @LoveOrting. Thank you for setting the record straight.

  41. reaper14all says:

    As a dog owner I can’t imagine anyone doing those kind of things to any animal reguardless of what the animal had done. His prior run in with a dog where he shot at it with his neighbor’s daughter in close vicinity says it all about this low life. He needs some of his own medicine. I can’t believe he got bail. I agree with those that wrote if he did this to an animal (as most serial killers start out) what would prevent him from doing it to children, adults in the neighborhood?

  42. Love Orting: If, in fact, what you say is true, it was not indicated in the article. What I wrote is my reaction to the article. The fact that the reporter didn’t indicate where the wire came from, breed of dog, age, weight, etc.. leaves lots of room to draw conclusions. People don’t go nuts on animals without provocation. Clearly Knowles had some issue about the dog he could not get resolved.

  43. ihaterickyknowles says:

    You folks that defend this pussy deserve to rot in he’ll”!!!

  44. ihaterickyknowles says:

    If you have a dog tied to a pole, a hatchet and a hammer but the best you can do is put a couple of cracks in his skull, you’re a bitch that doesn’t deserve to live. This Knowles idiotic should be beaten to death. Long live dogs!

  45. dldonnell says:

    Someone made the assumption the dog was barking all day there was never any mention of it in the news report. Thats how false stories get spread. Regardless the dog didn’t deserve that treatment. All he knows is all he knows he’s a dog

  46. dldonnell says:

    The wire was probably matted with hair because he was tied to the post with it and was struggling to get free because some CRAZY BASTERD WAS HITTING HIM OVER THE HEAD WITH A HATCHET!! Also no report said there were any complaints about the dog barking

  47. madmanroywa985 says:

    wow some of these comments make me think that this guys not the only freak out there, how can some one hurt animals that are defense less
    this guy is lucky i am not his neighbor. some people are pretty pathetic,
    i have 4 dogs and live them all like my kids and if some one was to harm them they could kiss there but good bye.

  48. lisasmiles03 says:

    Do you know what is scarier than this sick act by Knowles? …realizing this is an act for which he was CAUGHT…and given the calculated, tormenting, deliberate and drawn out nature…it’s probably NOT his first act. It scares me to think he has probably done other things…to animals or people…and what will be next? Will his need for control and sadism escalate. Oh ugghhh, watch your children and pets.

    Someone said earlier he must have been driven to it. The community attests to the loving nature of the owners – and even if something as annoying as barking was driving Knowles nuts (which is not the case), it sickens me to hear anyone justify premeditated torture. And the hair in the wire was a result of the dog doing almost anything to try to get away from this monster while being beaten, almost to death.

    I hope Kona is Blessed with a quick and thorough recovery, and loved dearly for the rest of its life.

  49. akbashpirate says:

    This afternoon I saw Kona in the vet’s office while there with my own pet. He was very friendly and happy and seemed on the way to a full recovery.

  50. I hope the judge takes this seriously and sends this guy to jail for the maximum, what’s next is he going to attack children that walk by his house?! This town needs to rid itself of him

  51. FrancesA says:

    A later news report noted that Knowles had complained about Kona barking–a year ago. Kona’s family got Kona a companion dog and also made a way for Kona and his doggie pal to go in and out of the garage. Knowles had not complained for a year!

    If a dog barking drives a person to murder, that person is crazy! Animal control and the police take barking dog complaints very seriously around here. All Knowles had to do was report further barking to the police. But he did not complain. I imagine Knowles has other sources of stress in his life and focused it on the dog–who was apparently no longer barking from the lack of complaints.

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