California man, Jose Manuel Pantoja arrested after torturing missing Chihuahua dog by using a as ‘soccer ball’- repeatedly kicking animal bound with electrical wire.
A witness called cops to report that a man- since identified as Jose Manuel Pantoja– using wires to tie the missing dog, named Max, with wires and repeatedly kicking him in Santa Ana on Sunday.
Arriving officers found the 28 year old man standing over the dog — who had a bungee cord around his throat and chest, and multi-colored electrical wire around his legs.
Offered Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the witness who saw Pantoja assaulting the dog, ‘She yells at him to stop but realizes he’s probably on drugs and shouldn’t do this so she calls us and gives us details’.
Adding, ‘When we got there, he’s standing over the dog and we took him into custody.’
Jose Manuel Pantoja: history of prior assault was out on probation.
The next day, authorities learned that 13-year-old Max had escaped a family’s yard after someone left the gate open. He had been with the family since he was a puppy.
Max was reunited with his grateful family Tuesday morning.
‘I didn’t think I would see him again, but here he is,’ his owner, Stephany Chavez, told via KTLA. ‘I’m just glad he’s OK and he’s not any worse than this.’
‘To think that someone would do that, it’s just very upsetting, it’s not right,’ she said. ‘He’s an animal, he can’t do anything to you, especially a small one like this.’
A Santa Ana police sergeant said he’d pay for some of the family’s pet license fee, and the pet clinic told the outlet they’d help cover Max’s hospital expenses.
Court records show Pantoja previously pleaded guilty to a felony charge of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury on Nov. 16 in a plea deal in which a robbery charge was dropped. He was sentenced to three years probation and a year in jail, according to court records.
Not immediately understood is what compelled the homeless man to viciously abuse the animal he’d come across. Pantoja is being held without bail.
— michele gile (@CBSmichelegile) March 5, 2019