• Mass. man accused of tossing dog out window, other driving charges


    LEICESTER, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) – An East Brookfield man is facing a multitude of charges after leading police on a chase and tossing a dog out of his car Friday afternoon, police said.

    Robert G. Astrella, 32, is charged with animal cruelty, failing to stop for a police officer (two counts), operating after suspension, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, speeding, failure to stop at a stop sign, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and attaching plates to a motor vehicle.

    The Leicester Police Dept. began receiving calls at about 2:45 p.m. reporting a reckless driver in an older model white pickup truck that ran a red light in Spencer Center and almost hit three pedestrians.

    A short time later, police received another call that a white pickup truck with front end damage possibly heading east on Route 9 had just been involved in a hit and run in North Brookfield.

    Dispatchers then received a third call reporting a dog had just flown out of an older model white pickup truck that was heading east on Route 9 near King Court in Leicester. The caller said the truck did not stop and that the dog landed in the middle of Route 9 before heading into woods.

    An officer attempted to stop the driver, but the truck sped off and eventually ended up heading east on Route 9 in Worcester.

    During the pursuit, the driver could be seen leaning over as if he was reaching for something under the seat. The driver continued until becoming stuck in a small stream off Perry Place in Auburn. He was then taken into custody.

    The concerned caller stayed with the dog until Leicester Animal Control arrived and transported the dog to the veterinarian. The dog was treated for cuts and abrasions.

    According to police, the pickup truck Astrella was driving was missing the ignition. Police were attempting to determine who owns the pickup truck.

    Astrella is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

    The North Brookfield Police Department is conducting an investigation into Friday's alleged hit and run.

    An investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

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