ATWATER — The Merced County district attorney's office filed a felony animal abuse charge Tuesday against an Atwater man accused of beating a dog to death with a wooden board.
Lorenzo Segundo, 19, could face up to three years in prison if convicted of the charge.
Atwater police said witnesses saw Segundo beating the small dog with a fence board around 7:38 p.m. July 9 in the 2800 block of Muir Ave.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Rob Carroll said he couldn't elaborate on the accusations because of the pending court case. Segundo has been released on bail, and Carroll said the defendant will be mailed a notice to appear for his arraignment hearing.
"We believe there's evidence to support the charge," Carroll said.
Witnesses told police Segundo attacked the dog, a small brown adult Chihuahua mix, after it approached his own dog, saying he struck the dog with a board six to seven times and threw its body into a trash bin, where officers found it.
Police arrested Segundo after witnesses called. The dog's injuries included fractures to its eye socket, skull and vertebrae. The dog had bled from its right ear canal and mouth, and likely died from head trauma, according to police.
Segundo refused to answer questions from police, they said.
Police do not believe the dog belonged to Segundo and say it may have been a stray.
City Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.