Aug. 8, 2018 By Christian Murray
A Woodside man has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals for allegedly beating his girlfriend’s Shih-Tzu to death and then dumping its body in a nearby parking lot.
Brando Henriquez, 23, allegedly killed the dog at his girlfriend’s Broad Channel residence on July 15, after being put in charge of looking after it while his girlfriend went out.
Upon the dog’s death, Henriquez allegedly put it in a white plastic bag and dumped it–while hiding the fact from his girlfriend.
When his girlfriend returned home, she wondered why the dog had vanished. Henriquez told her he didn’t know what had happened to it and that it must have run out of the house, according to the District Attorney’s office.
His girlfriend put up ‘lost dog’ posters in the area hoping that the dog—called Lavonia– would be found alive. However, days later, his girlfriend’s mother and brother discovered the dog’s remains in a white plastic bag at a parking lot several blocks east of her residence.
When police investigated the incident, they secured video footage of Henriquez leaving his girlfriend’s residence carrying a white plastic bag containing a lump on July 15. Additional footage was captured of Henriquez walking with the bag in the direction of where the dog’s carcass was found.
The police conducted a necropsy on the dog, which found it in an advanced state of decomposition consistent with it dying around July 15. The dog also had four rib fractures due to blunt force trauma.
Henriquez was arraigned on Friday, Aug. 3, with his next court appearance set at Aug. 22. Henriquez faces up to two years in prison.
“The defendant is accused of…brutally killing a small helpless dog and heartlessly offering false hope to his girlfriend and family by making them thing the dog had just run away,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “For the next four days she and family members searched the area…only to find the dog’s remains where the defendant allegedly disposed of them.”