By Bill Parry
A Woodside man has been indicted on animal cruelty charges for the senseless killing of a Shih Tzu-type dog belonging to his girlfriend and her family, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced Tuesday.
Brando Henriquez, 23, was arraigned Friday before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry S. Kron on an indictment charging him with aggravated cruelty to animals and other charges.
Henriquez was at his girlfriend’s Broad Channel residence the afternoon of July 15 when the dog disappeared. Henriquez told his girlfriend that he did not know what happened to the dog and suggested that the dog ran out of the apartment and escaped, according to the criminal complaint.
The girlfriend discovered the remains of her pet July 19 following several days of searching. The dog was dead and decomposing after it had been placed in a white plastic garbage bag and disposed of at a parking lot several blocks east of her owner’s residence, according to the complaint.
Investigators secured video camera footage from several locations along the route which showed Henriquez leaving his girlfriend’s residence with a white plastic bag containing a lump shortly after she had left her residence.
Additional surveillance footage showed Henriquez crouching down behind a garbage can as a passerby walks past him and then proceeded and then proceeded to run down the block, still holding the white bag, which his girlfriend recognized as the type and brand she had purchased.
A necropsy was performed by an ASPCA forensic veteran found that the animal was in an advanced state of decomposition consistent with being deceased for at least several days and that the dog had four rib fractures due to blunt force trauma. There was no evidence of healing to the fractures indicating that they occurred shortly before his death, according to the complaint.
“The defendant allegedly brutally killed a small helpless dog and heartlessly offered false hope to his girlfriend and family by making them think that the dig had just run away,” Brown said. “For the next four days she and family members searched the area and put up missing dog posters in the belief that they would find the dog alive. Sadly, what they found were the dog’s remains — allegedly where the defendant disposed of them. The accused will be held accountable for this vicious act of aggression on a defenseless animal.”
Justice Kron continued the $10,000 bond/$7,000 cash bail and ordered Henriquez to return to court Feb. 8. If convicted, Henriquez faces up to two years in prison.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr