A Jackson Heights man has been hit with a slew of charges — in the first case brought on by the Queens district attorney’s Animal Cruelty Prosecutions Unit — after he allegedly killed his girlfriend’s small dog earlier this year by slamming it against the floor during an argument.
Carlos Hernandez, 33, was arraigned Wednesday on an eight-count indictment charging him with aggravated cruelty to animals, counts of robbery, grand larceny, criminal mischief, endangering the welfare of a child, harassment and disorderly conduct.
According to prosecutors, on Jan. 10 at about 6:15 a.m. Hernandez was inside the apartment he had been sharing with his girlfriend and her 11-year-old daughter in Forest Hills when he started a verbal argument with the woman.
During the argument, Hernandez allegedly grabbed his girlfriend’s 3-year-old Chihuahua out of her arms and slammed the dog against the floor, authorities said. This caused the small dog to bleed from its ears and collapse on the floor where it died just minutes later.
The woman’s daughter, who also took care of the dog together with her mother, was present during the incident, prosecutors said.
“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,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “Such acts of aggressions toward animals cannot — and will not — be tolerated.”
Brown added that Hernandez’s indictment was the first one to be brought by his Animal Cruelty Prosecutions Unit, which was created in January and is also the first of its kind in a district attorney’s office in New York City.
The unit will investigate and prosecute animal cruelty crimes in Queens and also educate the public on how to prevent and detect animal abuse.
Hernandez’s bail was set to $7,500 and he is expected to return to court on July 6. If convicted, the 33-year-old faces up to seven years in jail.