MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Police have arrested and charged a man with animal cruelty after he was seen on a video circulating in social media repeatedly choking and punching a dog in South Beach.
According to the arrest form, a Miami Beach Police officer responded to a 911 call in reference to a subject trying to kill a dog near Ocean Drive and 13th Street, Sunday afternoon.
The officer arrived to find two men detaining the suspect, later identified as 51-year-old Louis Sepulveda.
The report states witnesses told the officer that Sepulveda was trying to kill a black Labrador with a leash.
The video shows the suspect choking the dog with the leash, then yanking the animal to the ground. He is then seen continuing to choke the Labrador and dragging the canine across the pavement.
Moments later, witnesses rushed to the dog’s aid. Some were seen screaming and even crying.
Others stepped in to try and stop Sepulveda’s attack.
According to police, witnesses told officers the suspect was heard screaming that “the dog attacked him and he was going to kill the dog because he had it coming to him.”
Derrick Childrey, one of the men who came to the canine’s defense, told 7News in a FaceTime interview that he spotted Sepulveda mistreating the dog and intervened.
“I was angry to see something like that,” he said.
A different cellphone video showed Childrey and another man holding Sepulveda down until police arrived.
“I grabbed the dog and … myself and other patriots, we subdued [the man] until police got there,” said Childrey.
Childrey, who is visiting from Alabama, said it took him about 10 seconds to separate the dog from the suspect, and police responded about eight minutes later.
Sepulveda is facing a felony charge of animal cruelty with intent to injure or kill.
Miami-Dade Animal Control took the dog to an animal care center to be checked out and are investigating the incident.
As for Childrey, he said he hopes the dog is OK and the suspect gets whatever punishment comes his way.
“He needs to pay for what he’s done. I don;t think he should own an animal ever again in life if he can’t treat it properly,” he said.
The extent of the dog’s injuries is unclear.
Sepulveda is being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on $5,000 bond.
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