Folks who were distressed by the news that Benny the tossed pug had been returned to his tosser might have reason to rejoice today, as police said Wednesday that they arrested his alleged abuser and took him out of her care.
By now, I assume you know the sordid tale: Fairfield dog guardian Brandi Chin was having an outdoor argument with her boyfriend/ex-boyfriend (reports conflict re the status of their relationship) Ben Perez on December 19 when she appeared to drag Benny, her dog, out to the street by his leg, gave him a mighty heave, and threw him into the road.
The exchange was caught on video by one David Shields, who posted the video to Facebook, drawing the attention of both the Fairfield Police Department and Solano County Animal Services.
BRANDI CHIN of Fairfield Pennsylvania st. If this isn't animal abuse I don't know what is.Posted by David Shields on Saturday, December 19, 2015
Though Perez asserted that Chin shouldn't "be charged anything like that at all. That dog loves her you know. She loves the dog. They're tight. You would be able to see that if you see them together," police and Animal Services still worked to track Chin down to determine the details of the incident.
Eventually, Chin resurfaced, and with Perez brought Benny to an Animal Services vet, where he was given a clean bill of health. Though Chin declined to speak on camera, she reportedly told Fox 40 that "the video captured her in the middle of a fight with a friend and while she simply meant to release Benny, in her anger and the chaos of the argument, she said she released him harder to the ground than she had intended."
After his exam, Benny was returned to Perez and Chin's care, something that left commenters on SFist's report aghast. Perhaps they will be less aghast today, as in a press release issued yesterday by the Solano County District Attorney's office, it was announced that on Tuesday, they received investigation reports from FPD "requesting criminal charges against the defendant, Brandi Chin for animal cruelty." On Wednesday, they "filed a felony charge of Animal Cruelty and Abuse, in violation of California Penal Code section 597(b) and requested an arrest warrant."
Later that day, Chin was arrested "in the City of Vallejo by the Fairfield Police Department and Solano County District Attorney Investigators," the DA's office writes.
"The law enforcement officials took possession of the dog pursuant to Penal Code section 597.1," the DA's office writes.
According to the Chron, Animal Services Officer Francisco Piedra says that Perez (the same guy who described Chin and Benny's relationship as "tight) is now saying that Chin threw the dog "out of spite."
"She knew that if she did that, it would upset him.” (I gotta remember that alleged relationship maneuver the next time my husband pisses me off! Get ready to fly, Trusty!)
Though Chin said earlier this week that "she wants people to understand she does not abuse her dog," the Solano County District Attorney’s Office doesn't seem convinced, and says they "take seriously all cases where animals are alleged to have been treated cruelly, abused and/or neglected and will diligently hold accountable those who commit such crimes."