A Fresh Meadows man has received a light sentence after pleading guilty to throwing his ex-girlfriend’s pug to its death off of a Flushing balcony back in March.
Yuk Cheung, 35, pleaded guilty to aggravated cruelty to animals and tampering with evidence on Aug. 14. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail and five years’ probation, where he will be banned from owning pets.
Cheung is also required to register with the city Department of Health as an animal abuser upon the completion of his incarceration. The animal abuser registration will prevent city shelters, rescue groups and/or pet stores from allowing Cheung to purchase or adopt a pet.
According to charges, on March 17, Cheung went to his ex-girlfriend’s apartment on 40th Road in Flushing and the couple argued about who would care for the pug, which he left behind when he moved out of her apartment. His ex-girlfriend pointed out that he needed to find a place to stay that permitted dogs, to which Cheung responded that she “would not have to worry about the dog anymore.”
Cheung then picked up the pug and walked onto the seventh-floor apartment’s balcony with the pet. When he returned inside, he no longer had the dog.
When his ex-girlfriend asked what had happened to the dog, Cheung said that she slipped from his arms. However, later Cheung told police that he had tripped while walking to the balcony and the pug left his hands. His story changed one more time and told police that the dog leaped out of his arms and must have gone through the balcony’s metal railing.
The pug died when it hit the pavement. Cheung went to the street afterwards and picked up the pug, placed her in a box with ice and dumped the remains in a nearby garbage receptacle. An investigation revealed that the pug had to have been thrown 40 feet through the air in order to clear a rooftop directly below the balcony and to then land on the street below — 6 feet from the sidewalk.
“The defendant has admitted to killing the animal. His actions were both cruel and heartless,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said. “He threw a defenseless animal to her death while in the midst of a heated exchange with his former girlfriend. Jail time in this instance is more than warranted as punishment for this senseless crime.”