Man poisons neighbor’s dog with ricin-like toxin, police say

Man Poisons Neighbor’s Dog With Ricin-Like Toxin

A man soaked lunch meat in a homemade ricin-like poison and threw the slices over a fence for his neighbor’s dogs to eat, police said.

Michael Lynch, 76, was arrested and charged with first-degree aggravated animal abuse, two counts of first-degree attempted animal abuse, second-degree animal abuse and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Lynch said he is innocent.

"I didn't do anything to his dogs," Lynch told KPTV. When he was asked about the tainted meat, he replied: "I don't know nothing about that."

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Investigators said Lynch was upset about his neighbor’s barking dogs. He called animal control many times but said officers failed to do anything.

Richard Schmidtke said he came home to a rude message on his answering machine in March 2016.

“(Lynch) said that he was not going to tolerate this and that I would lose these dogs and he would see to it,” Schmidtke said. "I was having a cup of coffee on my patio and I saw him throw poisoned meat into my yard four different times.”

When police went to Lynch’s house, they said they found castor seeds, from which ricin can be derived, a jar marked “botulism poison” and a calendar that noted the dates on which the dogs barked and the times he threw meat over the bushes.

"I think the man is sick," Schmidtke told KPTV. "That's my guess."

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