HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - A man has been arrested after he allegedly killed his neighbor’s dog by strangling it with a belt in Hialeah.
Ramon Hidalgo, the dog owner’s brother-in-law, said the canine’s death has taken a toll on his family.
“What happened was very painful for the family,” Hidalgo said through a translator. “For my brother-in-law, he was like a son. He didn’t deserve a death like this.”
The dog, named Rocky, was allegedly strangled to death at around 8:30 a.m. in the area of West 10th Street and First Avenue, Wednesday, and the act was captured on nearby surveillance cameras.
In the video, police said Kenny Amaro appeared to try to lure the dog to him several times. At one point, Rocky gets close to the man, and Amaro could be seen looping his belt around the dog’s neck.
Rocky could be seen trying to get away from the man, but Amaro did not let go of the belt.
The video showed Amaro continuing to strangle Rocky, hoisting him in the air with the belt and spinning him in the air several times. He then could be seen dragging Rocky’s body along the road and tying him to a street sign.
Immediately after, Amaro could be seen on a doorbell camera walking up to the dog owner’s home and starts screaming “Neighbor!” in Spanish and kicking at the door.
Rocky’s owner then realized what happened, and he could be seen carrying his beloved pet’s body and bringing him to the front porch. While on the porch, the neighbor could be seen doing everything possible to save Rocky, but it was too late.
Hialeah Police later arrived, and Amaro could be seen lying on the ground as officers handcuff him.
During bond court on Thursday, despite the public defender advising him not to speak, Amaro tried to explain why he killed Rocky.
“I did not kill the animal on purpose,” he said. “Ma’am, the dog was a dangerous dog, a mean dog. It would have killed a kid. If it sees a kid, it would attack the kid … Excuse me, sir, I want to be my own lawyer. You’re not my lawyer no more.”
However, Rocky’s family and multiple neighbors said Amaro’s claims in court are false.
“He was a loving dog. He didn’t look like a bad dog,” Hidalgo said.
According to the arrest report, Amaro told officers the dog attacked him, and that’s why he did what he did. However, that attack was not seen in the surveillance footage.
“The dog did not exhibit any signs or forms of aggressive behavior towards [Amaro],” officers wrote in the report.
Neighbors said they are living in fear and hope Amaro is not allowed to return.
“If he did this to a dog, he can do this to a person,” Hidalgo said.
Amaro was granted $25,000 bond. Should he bond out, he will be placed under house arrest.
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