By Bill Parry
A Jackson Heights man has been indicted by a Queens grand jury on charges of killing his girlfriend’s dog.
Carlos Hernandez, 33, is the first person to be indicted by the Queens District Attorney’s new Animal Cruelty Prosecution Unit.
According to the charges, Hernandez was inside a Forest Hills apartment he shared with his girlfriend and her daughter Jan. 10 when he got into a verbal dispute with her. Hernandez allegedly forcibly grabbed a 3-year-old Chihuahua out of her arms and slammed the dog to the floor where it collapsed and died minutes later. The girlfriend’s 11-year-old daughter was allegedly present in the apartment when the violent incident occurred.
Hernandez was arraigned last Wednesday before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Deborah Stevens Modica on an eight-count indictment charging him with one count of aggravated cruelty to animals and several other charges including endangering the welfare of a child. Bail of $7,500 was continued and the defendant’s next court date is July 6. Hernandez faces up to seven years in prison.
“The defendant is accused of aggravated cruelty to animals for pulling his girlfriend’s small dog out of her arms during an argument and killing the helpless animal by violently throwing the dog to the floor,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “Such acts of aggression toward animals cannot—and will not—be tolerated.”
Brown noted that the indictment is the first one to be brought by his Animal Prosecutions Unit, which was established in January.
The mandate of the unit, the first of its kind in New York City, will be to investigate and prosecute animal cruelty crimes in Queens.
and to educate the public about how to prevent and detect abuse of animals.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr