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Man charged in beating of Chihuahua puppy at park

December 15, 2010 |  5:22 pm

A Lancaster man was charged Wednesday with animal cruelty after he was arrested for allegedly beating a 3-month-old Chihuahua puppy at Apollo Park in full view of a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy and several children.

Ricardo Miranda, 30, was taken into custody Monday after a deputy patrolling Lancaster Park caught him hitting the tiny dog.

Deputy Guillermina Saldana said the deputy saw Miranda catch the puppy, hold it down with both hands and put his weight against it.

“The deputy could hear the puppy yelping in pain,” she said. Miranda then allegedly picked the dog up by a front leg while punching it in the face five to six times with his fist as several children could see him.

The deputy approached, took the puppy away and arrested Miranda on suspicion of cruelty to an animal, Saldana said.

According to investigators, the puppy named Shifty did not appear to be injured and was returned to the owner so she could seek medical treatment, if needed. Miranda was a friend of the owner.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office filed a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge Wednesday against Miranda, who remains in County Jail. According to court records, he has prior convictions for vandalism, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and burglary.

-- Richard Winton

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