Man accused of attacking dog, owner with machete held without bail

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

TAUNTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The man who allegedly attacked a woman and her pit bull with a machete in September has been ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing on Nov. 8.

The Taunton Gazette reports that Thomas Vargus, 45, of Brockton was arraigned Thursday in Taunton District Court on charges of animal cruelty and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon following extradition from Pennsylvania.

Police said Vargus, armed with a machete, attacked a dog outside a Church Street residence on Sept. 18.

Eyewitnesses told police that the suspect was screaming, “I’m going to kill this [expletive] dog.”

The dog survived the attack with injuries to his neck and spine. Police said the owner was also hurt while trying to intervene.

The prosecution requested a dangerousness hearing, referring to an eight-page criminal record including three prior charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and a conviction in a federal court for a drug offense.