Miami Beach police say Sigman Hernandez confessed Wednesday to “slapping and possibly choking” his tiny Yorkshire Terrier and leaving her in a Publix parking garage.
The reason, he told police: The dog vomited in his car.
Hernandez, 40, of Miami, now faces a third-degree felony animal cruelty charge, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, according to state statutes. He also faces one count of animal abandonment. He was being held Wednesday night in Miami-Dade’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on a $6,000 bond.
On Tuesday, police released video of a “person of interest,” after a barely 8-pound dog was found next to a concrete column in the Publix garage at 1920 West Ave. Officers took the dog, later named Lily, to Doral Centre Animal Hospital, a 24-hour emergency facility. The dog had at least seven broken ribs and showed signs of strangulation, police said. The dog died from her injuries two days later.
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Garage surveillance video showed a red Toyota Yaris with a delivery sign on the roof back into a parking space shortly before the dog was found. The video showed the man go into the elevator, go to the restroom and then return to his car.
On Wednesday afternoon, the police department tweeted they were speaking with the “person of interest” seen in the video and later announced the arrest.
Hernandez, whose occupation is listed as a delivery person, told police he took the dog out of the car and placed it on the garage floor.
“The defendant admitted to pushing his dog with his feet while the dog lay on the garage floor,” the officer wrote in Hernandez’s report. “The defendant then abandoned his dog to suffer without providing care and assistance.”