A San Rafael man remains in custody today after witnesses say he was violently squeezing and biting two small Chihuahuas.

Jennifer Parker, who lives in the area of Merrydale Road in San Rafael, rushed outside Wednesday night when she says she heard a dog crying in pain and a man's screams, the Marin IJ reports.

Outside, she found Alex Dillion Maertz with eight-pound dog Isabella and four-pound pup Lily.

Parker says she witnessed Maertz yelling at one of the dogs as he squeezed it, screamed at it, and bit it. A second dog was wandering around on the ground beneath the fight, Parker said.

Parker, who was soon joined by patrons of a nearby restaurant who were attracted by the commotion, says she asked the man to hand the dog he was holding over. Instead, he picked up the second dog and crushed it in his grasp, as well. The San Rafael police arrived shortly thereafter.

The dogs were turned over to the Marin Humane Society and taken to a pet hospital. Messages left with the Humane Society requesting an update on the dogs' conditions were not returned at publication time.

Maertz, who police say was covered in feces and bleeding from the face at the time of the incident, was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty and public intoxication. He was charged Thursday, and remains in custody in leiu of $20,000 bail.

[Marin IJ]