A pit bull puppy who endured weeks of abuse and neglect is no longer suffering at the hands of its alleged owner.
Authorities said Eric Y. Ranger, 26, of 179th Place in Jamaica was arrested on Wednesday after police determined he repeatedly beat the animal in public over a six-week period. Detectives found the puppy in Ranger’s home imprisoned in an upside-down milk crate weighed down by cases of soda, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
“[The puppy’s] rescue is the nicest Christmas gift he could have received this year,” Brown said in a statement Thursday.
Members of the 103rd Precinct Detective Squad began investigating Ranger after individuals reported seeing a man known as “E-Bone”– later determined to be Ranger’s nickname– punching, choking and kicking the puppy while walking it off-leash near Ranger’s home on Nov. 17. Later that afternoon, prosecutors said, a witness claimed to have heard a crying, yelping dog inside Ranger’s residence.
Police obtained security camera footage inside a third-floor hallway of the residence which showed a man later identified as Ranger punching and kicking the dog. Police confirmed Ranger as the dog’s owner during a visit to his apartment on Dec. 2.
Another video made in the third-floor hallway on Dec. 17 showed Ranger allegedly carrying the dog by his collar up three flights of stairs between 7:30 and 8 a.m. In an earlier incident, according to the criminal complaint, a police officer spotted Ranger punching the dog to the ground; when questioned, prosecutors said, he allegedly told police he was trying to discipline the puppy.
Ranger surrendered ownership of the puppy during Wednesday’s court-authorized search, Brown said, and the dog was taken to an ASPCA facility for treatment and evaluation. Detectives also found inside the apartment three loose marijuana joints and two plastic bags containing marijuana.
Ranger was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, overdriving, torturing and injuring animals, failure to provide sustenance and unlawful possession of marijuana. He faces up to four years behind bars if convicted.