Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Higher Bail Set in Dog Killing, Assault

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Higher Bail Set in Dog Killing, Assault

Article excerpt

A judge on Tuesday increased the bail for a Wayne man charged with assaulting his fiancee and killing her puppy two weeks ago.

John Varcadipone was ordered held on $75,000 bail after his arrest following a March 18 domestic dispute in which he is accused of turning violent against his fiancee and beating her 7-month-old Husky to death with a chair. Prosecutors later asked a judge to double his bail, while his attorney filed a motion to have him released on an anklet monitoring program.

Judge Marilyn Clark in state Superior Court in Paterson raised Varcadipone's bail to $100,000 on Tuesday after hearing arguments from both sides. She ruled that Varcadipone's history of substance abuse, coupled with the five-year prison term that he faces if he is convicted of the charges, render him a flight risk.

Varcadipone, 24, is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, making threats and animal cruelty. Gina Pfund, a Passaic County chief assistant prosecutor, said at the hearing Tuesday that Varcadipone's fiancee has since recanted her allegations against Varcadipone, but added that the statement she gave shortly after the incident reveals Varcadipone's disturbing pattern of abuse and violence.

Pfund said that the night before the dog's killing, Varcadipone had wanted his fiancee to get drugs for him and that he was very upset when she was unable to do so. According to statements by the fiancee and other witnesses, Varcadipone then lunged at his fiancee and punched her, and would have assaulted her more had it not been for his brother and another man in the house who held him back, Pfund said. Varcadipone also threw his brother to the floor in that incident, she said.

Varcadipone eventually went to bed and woke up the next morning late for work, Pfund said. He got upset at his fiancee for not waking him up earlier, and went to the kitchen, where he beat the dog to death with a chair, she said. …

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