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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

[SC] Officer Saski appeals killing ex-girlfriend's dog, gets his gun back, and her protection from him is removed.

...She said Saski told her he’d choked the dog to death, according to the court opinion. Saski said the animal died after he pushed it off of him... the court found the family court had no grounds to issue an order of protection in the case...


News Channel 7, SC
By Steven Jones
November 11, 2008
A [POLICE OFFICER OF] Clemson University Police Department has won his appeal in the South Carolina Supreme Court, allowing an order of protection that cost him his job to be repealed, according to an opinion from the Supreme Court. Matthew Saski, the patrolman, was living with his fiancé when her dog Angel died. She said Saski told her he'd choked the dog to death, according to the court opinion. Saski said the animal died after he pushed it off of him while he was watching television. The opinion states an autopsy on the animal was "not inconsistent" with either version of events. After the incident, according to the opinion, Saski and Julie Garcia - his fiancé - broke up. Based on the death of the dog, Garcia asked for a restraining order. Saski agreed with a temporary, mutual order. A hearing was held in June 2007. Saski was placed under an order of protection, which meant he wouldn't be able to carry a weapon. As a result, Saski was no longer allowed to be a police officer with Clemson University. After appealing the decision to the state Supreme Court, the court found the family court had no grounds to issue an order of protection in the case, stating "the record does not demonstrate Saski posed any threat of harm to Garcia and her family." There was no information on whether Saski would return to work or not. [LINK]


  1. Here are four posts on another case:

    [IN] Looks like Deputy Seufert killed police officer girlfriend's dog - http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/2005/12/in-looks-like-deputy-seufert-killed.html

    [IN] Police Officer Seufert Cop-on-Cop DV dog-killing case - http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/2006/01/in-police-officer-seufert-cop-on-cop.html

    [IN] Officer Seufert killled his cop girlfriend's dog, pleads guilty - http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/2007/11/in-officer-seufert-killled-his-cop.html

    [IN] 2 months for Officer Seufert killing cop girlfriend's dog, Lexi - http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/2008/01/in-2-months-for-officer-seufert-killing.html


    South Carolina Judicial Department
    2008-MO-044 - Garcia v. Saski
    In The Supreme Court
    Julie D. Garcia, Respondent,
    Matthew D. Saski, Appellant.
    ...JUSTICE WALLER: This is a direct appeal from a family court order of protection issued June 7, 2006. We reverse.
    FACTS Appellant, Matthew Saski, was a patrolman with the Clemson University Police Department. Respondent, Julie Garcia was his girlfriend for some period of time, and they had planned to get married. They lived together for four weeks in April 2006. According to Garcia, on April 29, 2006, after Saski got home from work, they drank some wine, and Garcia went to bed early. When Saski came into the bedroom around 3:30 a.m., she heard him crying in the shower. He got into bed and pointed his middle finger upward toward the ceiling; when she asked what he was doing, he said he was praying. She asked him what was wrong and he said, “I’m the devil, just kill me.” Saski then told Garcia he had killed her dog Angel, saying he had choked her. He put the dog’s body in the woods behind the house. According to Garcia, Saski told her, “I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t stop.” Garcia went and slept in her son’s bedroom and left early the next morning to go to a friend’s house. They corresponded via text message that morning, and Garcia asked him to move out. Saski moved out that day, and they had no further contact. Saski presented a different scenario. He testified he was petting Angel on the sofa late that night and, as he reached for the remote control, the dog went to jump on him, so he pushed her away with his hand. The dog landed on the floor and wasn’t moving. He picked her up and attempted to resuscitate Angel by blowing into her snout when “green and brown stuff started coming out.” He took Angel outside and Garcia’s other dog, Charlie, was barking. He realized Angel was dead, so he brought her into the woods so Charlie would stop barking. Saski started crying, realizing he’d killed the dog. According to Saski, when Garcia asked him what was wrong, he said, “Angel’s dead. I think I killed her.” He then told her “she choked,” and “I couldn’t help her.” Several days after the incident, Garcia applied to the family court for an order of protection on the basis of the dog incident. After a hearing on May 5, 2006, Saski consented to an interim order mutually restricting the parties from coming near each other. Garcia advised the court at that time she did not want Saski to be prevented from returning to his job as a police officer. The family court decided to postpone a final ruling until it had the benefit of an autopsy report on the dog. A subsequent hearing was held on June 5, 2006. Although the court found the autopsy was not inconsistent with either Garcia’s or Saski’s version of events, the court issued the order of protection based on Garcia’s fear for her safety. The order remained in effect for one year. One provision of the order, was a Federal Firearms Prohibition, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922. After his motion for rehearing was denied, Saski filed a petition for a writ of supersedeas, requesting the June 7, 2006 order of protection be stayed, and that the mutual restraining order which had been issued on May 19, 2006, be allowed to remain in effect pending appeal. Saski contended that because the order of protection prevented him from carrying a weapon, he would lose his job as a policeman with Clemson University Police Department. His captain, James Gowan, filed a supporting affidavit indicating that if the order of protection stayed in place as written, Saski stood to lose his job on July 15, 2006. Supersedeas was denied. Saski appeals the order of protection, contending that there was no evidence of any abuse, nor the threat thereof, to Garcia. We agree.
    We find the family court erred in issuing the order of protection in this case, because the record does not demonstrate Saski posed any threat of harm to Garcia or her family...


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