Chihuahua's owner calls suspect in golf-club attack 'wicked man'
The owner of Lily, the 8-year-old Chihuahua fatally struck with a golf club in Riverside County on Thursday, spoke about the man who was arrested in connection with the incident.
"There was no excuse that he did what he did," Barbara Hitchman, of Manifee, told the Riverside Press-Enterprise about her neighbor Larry Edward Jaurequi. "He did not need to use a club to kill her and he killed my dog. I'm devastated."
Jaurequi was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty in connection with the striking of the dog with the club.
"People like him, they don't need to be on our streets," she said, describing him as a "wicked, wicked man."
"Today, a dog. Tomorrow, a child. Tomorrow, an adult. The day after, I don't know."
Lily suffered a lacerated liver, broken leg and head trauma, said Riverside County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Cpl. Courtney Donowho.
The incident happened after Hitchman's two dogs, Lily and Benji, a poodle mix, became loose in the area of High Ridge Circle in Perris while she was working around her house.
According to investigators, Jaurequi grabbed a golf club and then approached the two dogs when they wandered into a cul de sac around 2:15 p.m. He swung the club at the Chihuahua "as if driving a golf ball off its tee. The force of the swing sent the animal flying through the air,'' sheriff's authorities said in a statement released to the media.
Hitchman found the dogs a few blocks away, arriving just after Lily was struck as Jaurequi was walking away. Lily was sitting “like a statue,” and her eyes were glazed over, Hitchman told the Press Enterprise.
Authorities said the attack was "totally unprovoked."
Jaurequi is being held at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta in lieu of $5,000 bail.
-- Dalina Castellanos
Photo: Larry Edward Jaurequi. Credit: Riverside County Sheriff's Department