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Man allegedly kills ex-girlfriend's dog, dumps it in West Hills trash bin

April 9, 2010 | 11:10 am

A municipal water district engineer was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty after he killed the dog of an Agoura Hills woman he used to date and dumped the small Maltese in a West Hills trash bin, investigators said Friday.

Rommel Marzan, 44, was arrested Tuesday after investigators deemed his story that he had fallen on the small dog as less than credible and a veterinarian determined the animal died from blunt head trauma, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Det. Steve Colitti.

Marzan works for the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District.

After the woman went home and found her dog missing, she received a call from Marzan, who told her he had accidentally killed it, Colitti said.

“He told her he had fallen on the dog and then panicked and dumped the dog,” Colitti said.

The woman immediately called sheriff’s deputies, who contacted Marzan. He told deputies the same story -- that he had accidentally fallen on the dog and killed it and dumped it in a San Fernando Valley trash bin in a panic, Colitti said. Skeptical deputies “felt he was not being forthcoming,” Colitti said

Marzan later acknowledged that he “may have stepped on the dog,” Colitti said.

The Maltese was retrieved from the dumpster, and a veterinarian determined the dog had died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Marzan was released in lieu of $50,000 bail. A supervisor at the Las Virgenes water district said Marzan has been placed on leave.

-- Richard Winton