Men charged with killing chickens with their bare hands

Two Milford men were arrested on warrants Jan. 3, charged with animal cruelty for reportedly stealing 20 pet chickens in Devon and killing them with bare hands on Christmas Day.

Police said Gregory Ulrich, 28, of 64 Park Ave., and John Budnovitch IV, 21, of Valley View Rd., had left a local establishment drunk Dec. 25 and then embarked on their crime spree, which lasted from just after midnight until 4 a.m.

Ulrich was angry, police said, about posts on social media that showed his wife with other people.

“They were not doing anything other than just hanging out in the posts,” said Police Spokesman Michael Devito. “It’s just his alcohol induced rage that set him off.”

Budnovitch was driving and Ulrich had him drive to the homes of the people in the posts, where he smashed the windows on several motor vehicles. Then they went to two different homes and Ulrich stole 20 chickens and killed them with his bare hands while Budnovitch watched, Devito said. Several of the chickens were located in adjacent yards. 

“Ulrich lives in the area of the two chicken thefts,” Devito said. “So although he doesn’t know [the people who live there] he was aware they raised chickens.”

Ulrich was charged with larceny, criminal mischief, animal cruelty and interfering with a police officer. His bond was set at $15,000 and he is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 30.

Budnovitch was charged with larceny, conspiracy to commit criminal mischief, animal cruelty, evading responsibility, driving a vehicle while his license was under suspension, and using a vehicle without the owner’s permission.

His bond was set at 5,000, and he is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 30.

The two were arrested Jan. 3 after a thorough police investigation and interviews, Devito said.

Budnovitch is no stranger to local police. In July he was arrested after a car chase and then a foot chase that ended when he and a local woman were found hiding in a garage in Bridgeport.

Heroin and related paraphernalia were located inside the vehicle he was driving, police said.

In August, Budnovitch was arrested after allegedly speeding off after police stopped him.

According to police, on Aug. 12 while on anti-crime patrol, the Milford Police Department Narcotics and Vice Unit attempted to stop a motor vehicle on Woodmont Road near the I-95 on-ramp.

The vehicle initially stopped and detectives spoke with the operator, identified as Budnovitch.

Budnovitch then sped off onto I-95 southbound after being told to put the vehicle in park, police said. A short time later Budnovitch was located at his home and arrested after a brief struggle with officers.