A Highland Park man was arrested on suspicion of felony animal cruelty after police said he kicked a 3-month-old French bulldog puppy and swung it in the air "like a yo-yo," Los Angeles police officials said Monday.
Joseph Fragoso, 28, was arrested Sunday night in the 1500 block of Avenue 54 near York Boulevard after patrol officers with the Los Angeles Police Department's Northeast Area Station received a call from a witness that a man carrying a puppy suddenly threw it to the sidewalk and kicked it for no apparent reason.
After further investigation, the officers determined the man, who later claimed ownership of the puppy, then began to swing the dog in the air on a leash "like a yo-yo," said LAPD Capt. Jennifer Thomas.
The witness told officers they saw a man identified as Fragoso, who is 5-foot-8 and 150 pounds, strike the dog with a long object, believed to be a tree branch, before dragging it an unknown distance.
"When officers arrived, they found the man wearing a white shirt stained with blood," Thomas said.
When officers asked the how the man got the blood on his shirt, he admitted it was from his puppy, Thomas said. The officers then asked why the puppy was bleeding and the man said he didn't know.
Officers noticed the puppy had cuts and scrapes to its paws and mouth and was having difficulty breathing, Thomas said. Animal Services responded and provided emergency medical treatment for the puppy, which is expected to recover, she said.
"The officers were just horrified about the condition of the puppy," Thomas said. "We all want to adopt the dog. Had we not responded and arrested the man, who knows what would have happened to this poor puppy."
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