SALEM — A Marblehead man will spend the next year on probation after admitting to repeatedly punching his 1 1/2 year old yellow Lab named Clemintine while they sat in his parked car at Salem's Forest River Park last spring.
Kenneth McLean, 48, of 80 Bayview Road, had already surrendered the dog, which has been adopted by new owners, prosecutor Lynsey Legier told a Salem District Court judge on Wednesday during a hearing.
McLean admitted to sufficient facts on one animal cruelty charge, which Judge Robert Brennan agreed to continue without a finding for a year.
The charge will be dismissed if McLean complies with a series of conditions, including no ownership or custody of any animal and completion of an online animal safety course.
A second count of animal cruelty was dismissed.
Police began investigating after a woman called on April 6 to report she had just witnessed a man in a Chrysler PT Cruiser punching a dog, she estimated 30 times, in the Forest River Park parking lot.
By the time police got to the area, the Chrysler, registered to an elderly woman, had left. The woman later confirmed to police that her stepson uses the car.
Marblehead police Sgt. Sean Brady met both Clemintine and another dog who lives in the home during a visit, and took a photo. He said the dog appeared to be in good health.
A few days later, Salem police Detective Charlene Sano followed up with the elderly woman, who told her that McLean, her stepson, said he'd had to "smack" Clemintine in the "behind" to get her into the car.
Sano made several attempts to speak to McLean before getting a warrant.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.