Jan. 11, 2016 Staff Report
A Jackson Heights man has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty after allegedly slamming his girlfriend’s three-year-old Chihuahua against the floor, killing the animal, during a verbal dispute yesterday afternoon.
The alleged incident was witnessed by the girlfriend’s 11-year-old daughter, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.
Carlos Hernandez, 32, of 73rd Street in Jackson Heights, is presently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on a criminal complaint charging him with aggravated cruelty to animals, fourth-degree criminal mischief and endangering the welfare of a child. If convicted, Hernandez faces up to four years in prison.
According to the charges, Hernandez was inside his girlfriend’s Forest Hills residence at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Sunday, January 10, 2016, and engaged in a verbal dispute with her.
It is alleged that Hernandez grabbed the Chihuahua out of her hands and slammed the dog against the floor, causing the Chihuahua to bleed from its ears and collapse on the floor where it died minutes later. The girlfriend’s 11-year-old daughter, who was the Chihuahua’s caregiver, was allegedly present in the room and witnessed the violent incident.
“On the day my office announced the establishment of a dedicated animal cruelty prosecution unit to pursue allegations of animal cruelty, a Queens resident is accused of pulling his girlfriend’s small dog out of her hands during a verbal argument and killing the helpless animal by violently throwing the dog to the floor,” said District Attorney Richard Brown. “Such acts of aggression toward animals cannot – and will not – be tolerated.”
Brown noted that he has created an Animal Cruelty Prosecutions Unit within his office that will work closely with the newly formed New York City Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Investigations Squad (which assumed the ASPCA’s law enforcement function in July 2014).
The mandate of the Animal Cruelty Prosecutions Unit – the first of its kind in a District Attorney’s Office in New York City – will be to investigate and prosecute animal cruelty crimes in Queens County and to educate the public about how to prevent and detect abuse of animals.
The Hernandez investigation was conducted by police officers assigned to the New York City Police Department’s 112th Precinct.