Suspect in machete attack on dog, owner caught in PA

Thomas Vargus, 45, was captured in Pennsylvania. He was wanted for allegedly attacking a woman and her dog with a machete in Taunton.

TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A man on the Massachusetts State Police Most Wanted list, accused of attacking a woman and her dog with a machete, is now in custody.

State police on Monday said officers arrested 45-year-old Thomas Vargus in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania Sunday. He is being held there as a fugitive from justice.

According to state police, Vargus was staying with 70-year-old Glen Turner, a motorcycle gang member out on federal parole for shooting a New Jersey state trooper in 1982. Police said Turner and Vargus served time together in federal prison.

Vargus had been at large since the Sept. 18 attack on Church Street in Taunton. State police said Vargus walked up to the woman walking her dog, pulled out a machete and began stabbing the animal. Police said Vargus hit the woman with the machete when she tried to stop him. Both the woman and her dog survived.

Shortly after the attack, state police added Vargus to their Most Wanted list. At the time, state police noted Vargus had a shaved head and extensive tattoos on his face. When he was caught Sunday, police said Vargus had grown out his hair and his beard, apparently in an attempt to cover up his tattoos.

State police said Monday they were arranging to bring Vargus back to Massachusetts to face charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and animal cruelty.