LOWELL -- When Lowell police responded to a report of a domestic assault involving a UMass-Lowell math professor early Tuesday morning, they found the home in "complete disarray'' with trash on the floor, dirty dishes and fleas everywhere, and the floors covered in animal feces, according to police.
The apartment at 364 East Merrimack St. had no water. A dog and cat found inside were covered in feces and fleas, and the dog was eating from a ketchup packet, police allege in court documents.
When police approached Konstantin Rybniko, who was described as passed out in bed, he allegedly woke up and told police, "I can hit my wife whenever I need to, (Russian President Vladimir) Putin tells me I can."
Rybniko allegedly lunged at the officers, hitting and kicking them, until he could be subdued. He was transported to Lowell General Hospital, Saints Campus, due his level of intoxication. He was disruptive at the hospital yelling obscenities and telling someone to call the CIA.
He is accused of threatening to "kill all of you when I get out," and spitting at hospital staff, police allege. Then he insisted on being released because he had classes in the morning.
Police called the animal control officer, who found the dog extremely malnourished, covered with fleas and suffering from a skin condition.
"The dog began to shake and was in desperate need of care," police wrote.
The Board of Health was notified.
In Lowell District Court Tuesday, Rybniko, 42, of 364 East Merrimack St., apt., 2, Lowell, was ordered held on $1,000 cash bail after pleading not guilty to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (two counts), assault and battery on a police officer ( two counts), assault, animal cruelty, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
If he posts bail, he is to stay away and have no contact with his wife, abstain from alcohol and submit to random breathalyzer tests, and surrender all animals.
A pretrial conference is scheduled for April 23.
His status at UMass-Lowell is unknown at this time.
His wife, Michelle Rooney Rybniko pleaded not guilty to a charge of animal cruelty. The results of her arraignment were not immediately available.
For more on this story see Thursday's Sun or visit http://www.lowellsun.com