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Tag: new york post

NY man charged with killing Chihuahua

chihuaA Staten Island man was arrested this week for fatally beating his girlfriend’s 5-pound Chihuahua, apparently because the dog had bitten him days earlier, police said.

Or, as the New York Post  put it, “Brute Bashed 5-Lb. Dog to Death: Cops.”

Frank Coppola, 28, allegedly beat the 3-year-old dog, named Bella, on Feb. 28 at the Staten Island apartment he shared with his girlfriend.

Police said it took six months to arrest him because his girlfriend, Melissa DePietro, was reluctant to testify against Coppola. Prosecutors convinced her to testify before a grand jury, which, along with graphic medical evidence, proved enough for an indictment.

A necropsy performed on Bella showed the dog had suffered severe trauma to its chest, internal bleeding, several broken ribs, a ruptured jugular vein and bruised lungs, investigators said. According to the Post, the dog had bitten Coppola days before the fatal beating.

When asked by a veterinarian what had happened, Coppola claimed the dog had run into a wall and collapsed.

Coppola was charged with animal cruelty, and faces up to four years in prison. He was released on $2,500 bail.

“This a very serious crime. It’s not every day that an animal-cruelty charge goes before a grand jury, but obviously we thought this case was serious enough to take that step,” said Bill Smith, a spokesman for District Attorney’s office.