A transient probationer is behind bars on suspicion of binding a runaway Chihuahua and repeatedly kicking the dog in Santa Ana.
Jose Manuel Pantoja, who is being held without bail, is accused of wrapping a bungee cord around the dog’s throat and chest and binding his legs with electrical wires, said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
A woman taking out the trash at a business about 10:20 p.m. Sunday saw a man — later identified as Pantoja — kicking the dog at 431 E. First St., Bertagna alleged.
“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,” he said. “When we got there, he’s standing over the dog and we took him into custody.”
The dog was rushed to the Orange County Emergency Pet Clinic to be treated and was taken to an OC Animal Care facility Tuesday to be reunited with his owners, who reported their 13-year-old pet, Max, had gotten out of their yard when someone left the gate open, Bertagna said.
Max has been with the family since he was a puppy, Bertagna said.
Court records show that Pantoja 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.
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