On Friday June 7, 2019 at 1419 hrs. Lancaster Bureau of Police Dog Law Enforcement Officer Garcia responded to a call on the 500 blk. Beaver St. for a complaint of a woman on her front porch seen kicking a dog.
DLO Garcia checked the area and was able to locate the residence in question. The owner of the dog was identified as Ashley Gaston F/28. Gaston denied kicking the dog. She told Garcia that the dog had bitten her son and that she took the dog outside and hit it on the head one time. DLO Garcia did not locate any bite injuries to Gaston's son and did not see any injury to the dog.
Shortly after 1900 hrs. a video was shared to a social media platform. The video depicted a woman on the front porch of a home repeatedly kicking and stomping on a dog while the dog was on the front porch of the home. The woman stopped her assault on the dog, went inside the home and escorted a child to the front porch. The woman instructed and encouraged the child to kick the child. The child kicked the dog at the woman's encouragement.
The video appeared to correspond to the same incident that DLO Garcia had responded to earlier that day. Once the video was viewed by Law Enforcement Officials it was clear that the extent of the incident had been greatly downplayed by Gaston upon initial investigation by DLO Garcia.
Det. Joanne Resh of the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office specializes in cases involving animal cruelty. Det. Resh responded to the Lancaster Bureau of Police station to assist. Officers responded back to the address on Beaver St. and seized custody of the dog. The dog is a 14-18 month old male terrier name "Trigger". The dog was taken to Lancaster Pet Emergency Treatment and Specialties (PETS) for an examination. The initial examination of the dog showed bruised lungs. A more thorough, forensic examination on the dig will be administered in Philadelphia on Saturday June 8, 2019.
Officers went back to the address on Beaver St. and took Gaston into custody. Off. Ryan Burgett filed a Criminal Complaint against Gaston before MDJ Witkonis. Gaston was charged with Aggravated Cruelty to Animals- Torture (F3), Endangering the Welfare of Children (F3) and Corruption of Minors (M1). Gaston was placed on record and held for arraignment. Gaston was committed to LCP in lieu of $50,000 bail.
All persons accused of a crime are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in court.
*Gaston's photo was not available at the time of this release. We will update the release when it becomes available.*
Release updated 1035 hrs. with photo.