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Meals on Wheels volunteer accused of killing dog

Donald Nicoli told police he kicked the dog owned by a woman he delivered food to -

GRESHAM POLICE DEPARTMENT - Donald Nicoli, 68.A Meals on Wheels volunteer was arrested by Gresham officers Monday, Aug. 8, on accusations of killing a 6-year-old Chihuahua.

Gresham resident Donald Nicoli, 68, had made arrangements with the dog's owner, June Rigsby, 70, to deliver food to her every Monday for the past months through Meals on Wheels, which is a group that delivers food to homebound seniors.

Rigsby is disabled and would leave her door unlocked so Nicoli could enter the home, police say.

According to police the day of the incident Rigsby was in bed, heard a knock at the door and Nicoli call out her name. Rigsby said when he entered, her three dogs, including Baby the Chihuahua, jumped from the bed to greet him.

A few moments later, she heard a thud and only two dogs returned. After Nicoli left, Rigsby went to check what happened, finding Baby deceased on the kitchen floor.

Detective Sgt. Jerry Harris, with assistance from the Multnomah County Animal Control, investigated the circumstances surrounding Baby’s death. Baby was sent to Oregon State University where they assisted with determining how she died.

“We received word from Oregon State University that the cause of death was blunt force trauma and multiple skull fractures,” Harris said.

Investigators spoke with Nicoli, who admitted to kicking the dog. He was unable to remember specific details leading up to the event.

Nicoli was booked into Multnomah County Detention Center accused of one count of Aggravated Animal Abuse.

The Gresham Police Department says it takes animal abuse seriously and it will be investigated to the fullest. Citizens can report animal abuse by contacting Multnomah County Animal Services at 503-988-7387.