A moonlighting New Orleans cop who brought his police K-9 to a private security job broke no law, his lawyer argued Friday– and commited no malfeasance any more serious than failing to shine his shoes.
The dog, named Phantom, fell down an elevator shaft and to his death while he and Sgt. Randy Lewis were working a private security detail at a closed hospital building.
Lewis was not charged with animal cruelty, but with malfeasance.
Judge Ben Willard, after hearing closing arguments in the case Friday, delayed any verdict for another week. Lewis faces five years in prison and a $5,000 fine if found guilty, Nola.com reported
Lewis, a former supervisor in the department’s K-9 unit, took Phantom to the shuttered Charity Hospital in May 2009, where he had been hired to clear vagrants from the property. The dog fell from the 17th floor through a partially open elevator door.
Lewis took Phantom to the job without police department approval, and had signed forms saying no police equipment or animals would be used in the private job.
The dog’s body was not found until the next day, when the private company that hired him had the elevator drained. Lewis then had the dog cremated, before a necropsy could be performed.
Lewis, in his initial reports about the incident, said he was training the dog, and didn’t mention he was getting paid privately for his services.
His attorney, Eric Hessler, argued that Lewis had been working a private job and training his police dog at the same time.
Hessler likened the court proceedings to an officer being prosecuted for failing to shine his shoes.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cop, death, died, dogs, elevator, fell, job, k9, law enforcement, malfeasance, moonlighting, new orleans, pets, phantom, police, private, randy lewis, security, shaft, trial
A pit bull mix who was kicked and slapped by her owner on an apartment house elevator — that’s the surveillance video above — has been adopted by a young New York couple.
Richard Palacios, a 33-year-old SoHo waiter, and his fiance, Natalya Prokenpenko, 24, adopted the dog Friday, according to the New York Post.
The dog, who appears pretty happy with the new developments, is now known as Hazel.
Prokenpenko said as soon as they entered their Queens home with Hazel she “started kissing me, kissing my fiancé.”
Hazel’s beating on the elevator at East Harlem’s Wagner Houses, was recorded by police department surveillance cameras last August, and led to the arrest of Brian Freeman, 28. Hazel was taken from him and placed in a shelter then.
She had a cracked rib and bruises, but vets said she didn’t seem to have been subjected to prior abuse.
Freeman, who worked in a security job at a homeless shelter and was in college, entered a guilty plea last week to a reduced charge of misdemeanor trespassing. A judge indicated he would sentence Freeman to term of 25 days community service at his sentencing on Feb. 5.
(Photo: Brigitte Stelzer / New York Post)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 21st, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, adopted, animal cruelty, animals, apsca, beating, brian freeman, cameras, couple, cruelty to animals, dogs, east harlem, elevator, hazel, kicked, Natalya Prokenpenko, new home, new york city, pets, pit bull, pit bull mix, queens, Richard Palacios, shelter, surveillance, video, wagner houses
Elevator surveillance cameras have once again caught an apparent dog abuser in the act.
Brian Freeman, 28, who police say is the man seen repeatedly kicking a pit bull mix in this Aug. 26 video, was arrested on charges of torturing and injuring an animal.
The New York Daily News reports charges were filed against Freeman Monday when he appeared in court on a marijuana possession charge.
The video was taken by a surveillance camera in an elevator at the Wagner Houses on E. 120th Street in Harlem.
Freeman was not the first to be charged with cruelty to animals after being identified on an elevator surveillance video.
Two years ago, Chris Grant was arrested and charged with animal cruelty after being recorded kicking a pomeranian-Chihuahua mix on an elevator at the Grant Houses.
Later the same month Tiara Davis, another resident of the Grant Houses was captured on video abusing her Pomeranian.
And last year, New York City police released a video of Irving Sanchez abusing his pit bull mix dog in an elevator at the Wagner Houses. Sanchez was charged with aggravated animal cruelty.
The city and PETA had offered a combined $7,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the latest incident.
Freeman, according to the Daily News, was recognized by detectives and identified. His arrest record includes charges for assault, robbery and marijuana possession.
Police said they don’t know the whereabouts of the victimized dog or Freeman’s relationship to it.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, beating, brian freeman, camera, cams, chihuahua, chris grant, cruelty, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, east harlem, elevator, grant houses, harlem, irving sanchez, kicking, new york, pets, pit bull, police, pomeranian, security, surveillance, tiara davis, video, wagner houses
These are becoming — sadly — almost a video staple.
New York City police have released another surveillance video of a dog being abused in a public housing elevator.
This time, it’s a 46-year-old man who swinging a pit bull puppy against an elevator wall, then kicking the animal and slapping him in the face with his leash.
The man was identified as Irving Sanchez, and he was charged with aggravated animal cruelty on Monday, police said.
The incident took place at the Wagner public-housing complex in East Harlem on Sunday night.
The dog, named Max, was not seriously injured, police said, and is now in the custody of the ASPCA.
The charge against Sanchez carries a penalty of up to two years in prison.
Last year, at least three other cases of dogs being abused on elevators were captured on video in the Grant Houses in Harlem.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, arrest, beating, cameras, charges, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, elevator, grant, irving sanchez, kicking, max, new york, police, public housing, surveillance, video, wagner
Two New Orleans police officers have been charged in connection with the deaths of two police dogs in unrelated incidents.
Jason Lewis, 33, is accused of leaving Primo, a Belgian Malinois, unattended in a police department SUV, leading to the dog’s heat related death.
The case was heavily publicized last summer when the Metropolitan Crime Commission released photographs, including the one above, which shows what Primo did to the vehicle before dying from apparent heat stroke. Lewis was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals.
Sgt. Randy Lewis, a former supervisor in the New Orleans Police Department’s K-9 unit, meanwhile, was charged with malfeasance in office, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Randy Lewis, 45, was handling another K-9, Phantom, who last May fell down an open elevator shaft at the abandoned Charity Hospital building in downtown New Orleans — while Lewis was moonlighting. Lewis claimed he was on duty and involved in a training exercise, according to a spokesman for the Orleans Parish district attorney’s office. Actually he was being paid to work on a private security detail.
Neither officer has worked with dogs since the deaths.
Attorneys for the officers said the charges are unfair and they will fight them in court.
“Both of these cases are significant above and beyond the fact that, tragically, an animal lost its life,” said Rafael Goyeneche, president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, which last summer asked the district attorney’s office to look at the cases. “I think that these cases, both of them, indicate and speak to the police department’s inability to adequately police itself.”
According to an LSU necropsy report, Primo, 6 years old, likely died from shock due to heat stroke. He was taken to a veterinary office with a body temperature of 109.8 degrees.
The other dog, Phantom, died after falling from the 17th floor into an empty elevator shaft at around 9:30 at night on May 21, 2009. According to a report obtained by the Crime Commission, the dog’s body was removed by officers the next morning.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 24th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, belgian malinois, charged, charges, cruelty to animals, dogs, elevator, fall, fell, heat, heat stroke, jason lewis, K-9, k-9 unit, k9, law enforcement, left in car, malfeasance, metropolitan crime commission, new orleans, officers, ohmidog!, pets, phantom, police, police dogs, primo, randy lewis, shaft, vehicle
The assistant district attorney prosecuting the case against Tiara Davis, accused of beating her Pomeranian on the elevator at a New York City housing project, broke into laughter in the courtroom yesterday.
While reading Davis’ statement about how she beat the dog, Assistant District Attorney Steven Constantiner began chuckling, the New York Daily News reported.
“He was laughing and had to turn away because he couldn’t control the laughter,” said, Stacy Schneider, a Legal Aid lawyer representing Davis. “I didn’t see any humor in the statement.”
Davis, 31, is charged with beating a 9-pound Pomeranian named Sparky into unconsciousness in an elevator at the Grant Houses in Manhattan. Police quoted her as saying: “It wasn’t like I was killing him or anything like that. I mean I wasn’t gonna really hurt him.”
Constantiner started laughing when he was reading part of Davis’ statement that described the dog relieving itself in the elevator.
“The assistant district attorney laughed briefly and unexpectedly while reading to the court the vulgarities the defendant used in her statement to police,” acknowledged Erin Duggan, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office. Constantiner declined comment.
Davis, a vocational counselor, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor animal-cruelty charges. Her lawyer denied she made the statements to police. Davis, who has since surrendered Sparky, was caught on video beating the 4-year-old dog and was arrested by the ASPCA. She faces up to a year in jail.
Her arrest came just after another resident of the Grant Houses, Chris Grant, was charged with animal cruelty in connection with beating a dog — an incident police say was caught on the elevator surveillance cameras earlier.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 12th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, arrests, beaten, chris grant, chuckling, chuvi-duvi, court, cruelty to animals, district attorney, elevator, giggles, grant houses, hearing, kicked, laugh, law, manhattan, new york, news, prosecutor, sparky, steven constantiner, surveillance, tiara davis, video
PETA is asking the New York District Attorney’s office to “vigorously prosecute” Chris Grant and Tiara Davis — two residents of a city housing project that police say were caught on elevator surveillance videos abusing dogs.
“The viciousness shown in the abuse of these animals must not go unpunished,” said PETA Director Martin Mersereau. “New York residents have reason to be concerned. According to leading mental health professionals and law enforcement agencies, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat to all animals, including humans.”
Grant and Davis face charges of cruelty to animals stemming from separate incidents in which they were allegedly each caught on surveillance video repeatedly kicking and violently yanking their small dogs at the Grant Housing Development in Upper Manhattan.
Grant is accused of abusing Chuvi-Duvi, a 12-pound Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix belonging to his girlfriend; Davis is charged with jerking and beating Sparky, her 9-pound Pomeranian, until it lost consciousness.
PETA is asking that the defendants, if convicted, be sentenced to periods of incarceration, prohibited from owning or harboring animals, and ordered to undergo thorough psychological evaluations followed by mandatory counseling.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, charges, chris grant, chuvi-duvi, district attorney, dog, dogs, elevator, evaluations, grant housing development, housing project, new york, peta, pets, prison, prosecution, psychological, sentences, sparky, surveillance, tiara davis, videos, violence
A New York City woman has been charged after police say she was caught on video kicking and jerking her Pomeranian on an elevator in the same housing project where surveillance cameras captured a dog being beaten earlier this month.
Tiara Davis was charged with torturing and injuring an animal Monday. The incident was recorded by video cameras in the elevators of the Grant Houses Sunday morning. Police released the videos Tuesday.
The video shows Sparky, her 4-year-old Pomeranian, being beaten and jerked by its leash until unconscious.
Davis, 31, said she lost her temper when the dog relieved himself before getting outside.
“I kept telling him, ‘Sparky! Wait! Wait!’ ” Davis, a vocational counselor for ex-offenders, told the New York Daily News. “I became a little frustrated,” she added. “It was never my intention to hurt him.”
Sparky is recovering at the ASPCA hospital.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 13th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, another, beaten, cameras, capture, chris grant, crime, cruelty to animals, dog, elevator, grant houses, housing project, new york, police, sparky, squad, surveillance, tiara davis, video, viper
We’ve shown you all of those in recent weeks at ohmidog! — because, though they are graphic and disturbing, we believe that they need to be seen.
So now we bring you this one of Lucky and Misty, dog and cat — graphic in a way that won’t turn your stomach, graphic in a way that we could use a little more of, graphic in a way that, maybe, we humans could learn from.
Global New Year’s Resolution: Be more like Lucky and Misty.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, bridge, change, colorado national monument, cruelty to animals, disturbing, dog, dragged, dragging, elevator, graphic, hate, kicked, lithuania, love, lucky, misty, new york, ohmidog!, pets, photograph, photographs, thrown, torture, video, videos
New York City police investigating the fatal stabbing of a nine-year-old came across an unrelated crime — a small dog being repeatedly kicked in an elevator at the Grant Houses.
The assault showed up on surveillance cameras being monitored by police, leading them to arrest Chris Grant, the Manhattan man seen in the video.
Grant, 21, is seen in the footage dragging a friend’s 12-pound Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix, named Chuvi-Duvi, into the Grant Houses elevator. He kicks the dog, pets it, then kicks it again.
On his way back up the elevator, after a trip to a nearby deli, the same scene plays out again.
Police say Chuvi-Duvi didn’t suffer any broken bones in last Saturday’s attack and is recovering at Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital.
Officers from the police department’s Viper unit watched the attack from a remote location and arrested Grant two days later.
“I’m not trusting nobody with my dog,” said the pup’s owner, Melvin Rodriguez, 22, who picked the pooch up from the ASPCA.
The squad started tracking down Grant just an hour after they helped make an arrest in the fatal stabbing of 9-year-old Anthony Maldonado in the same Morningside Heights complex.
The Viper squad is responsible for monitoring surveillance cameras in city housing projects.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, cameras, catch, chihuahua, chris grant, chuvi-duvi, crime, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, elevator, grant houses, housing project, kicked, kicks, murder, new york, pets, police, pomeranian, surveillance, suspect, video, viper