Man accused in Franky the dog’s death arrested for domestic assault

ELLSWORTH — A man out on bail for alleged involvement in the death of a dog named Franky in August landed back in jail this week on charges of domestic violence assault.

Thirty-seven-year-old Nathan Burke was arrested by police after reportedly pushing his live-in girlfriend during an argument at a residence in Ellsworth, said Police Capt. Troy Bires. The woman landed on her 4-year-old daughter, said Bires, who said the girl “slightly injured” her foot.

When the girl’s mother went to call police, Bires said, Burke “smashed her phone.” A neighbor called police, who arrested Burke and charged him with domestic violence assault, violation of bail, criminal mischief and obstructing report of a crime.

The latter two charges are because Burke reportedly smashed the woman’s phone to try and prevent her from calling police, Bires said.

The case of Franky, a Boston terrier-pug mix, captured the attention of residents around the state. The dog, shot and wrapped in plastic, washed up on the shore in front of Hancock County District Attorney Matt Foster’s home in Hancock on Aug. 30.

After Franky’s body was found, warrants were issued for the arrest of Burke and 22-year-old Justin Chipman, who turned themselves into the Hancock County Jail on Sept. 4. Both men were charged with one count of aggravated cruelty to animals, aggravated criminal mischief, burglary, theft and unauthorized use of property. Burke was later freed on $1,000 cash bail.

As of Feb. 19, Burke was still in jail on the domestic assault charges, Bires said.

Kate Cough

Kate Cough

Kate covers the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. She lives in Southwest Harbor and welcomes story tips and ideas. She can be reached at [email protected]

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