A Miami Beach resident looked down from the balcony of his apartment Thursday afternoon after hearing a dog whimpering.
What he told police he videotaped left him almost speechless: A man kicking at a black Labrador retriever puppy, angry that it had pooped in his apartment.
Late Thursday night police identified the suspect as Woody Pierre, 20. He was charged with cruelty to animals with intention to kill and possession of marijuana and booked into the Turner Guilford Knight correctional center. Pierre’s bond was set at $6,000.
The 7-month-old pup, named Lucy, died. Police said she belonged to Pierre and that he told investigators he was mad at the puppy for defecating in his apartment.
“He was stomping away at the dog and someone was actually filming what was going on,” said Miami Beach police spokesman William Collado.
Someone who saw the video said it was taken from the third or fourth floor of a building in the 1600 block of Meridian Avenue and doesn’t clearly show how the pup was killed. The dog can be seen tied to the fence, the source said, and a man believed to be Pierre is shoving his foot repeatedly toward the animal.
Pierre’s arrest affidavit says the video shows he was “kicking and shoving Lucy with his feet” and that he kept striking her and throwing her back toward the fence even as she tried to escape.
Friday was a dog intensive day for Miami Beach first responders. But not all the news was bad. At about the same time detectives were trying to sort out Lucy’s death, a 12-year-old Chinese Shar-Pei and Rottweiller mix named named Junior was being reacquainted with its owner.
Junior, who has severe arthritis and very poor vision, wandered from his Miami Beach home and fell into the intracoastal behind a house on Byron Avenue in North Beach. Miami Beach firefighter Emilio Sanchez dove into the water and rescued the flailing canine.
But Pierre, who records show lives in Miami just north of Little Haiti, was taken to police headquarters on Washington Avenue where he was interrogated by detectives for several hours. Police believe he and Lucy were staying with a friend on South Beach before Thursday’s incident.
A neighbor who wouldn’t give his name told local television station WPLG Channel 10 that he witnessed the incident and called police.
“I was holding myself back from doing anything stupid,” he told the station.
According to Collado, several residents in the Meridian Avenue apartment building heard Lucy yelping and crying and went to take a look. When one of the witnesses yelled and ran toward the scene the man at first tried to resuscitate Lucy, then took off into one of the apartments.
By the time help arrived, the dog was severely injured and tied to a fence. Collado said the witness untied the dog and carried it to a front courtyard. There, he was able to flag down a Miami Beach Fire Rescue truck that was passing by. Attempts to save the animal failed.