A teen faces animal cruelty charges for a viral video that shows him flinging two dogs into the air in Louisiana.
The viral video shows a teen with two dogs who spins them around by the leash attached to both of their necks. He then lets go, and the dogs are launched into the air, yelping. They hit the ground hard and bounce across the concrete, but appear to be okay as they run back toward the teen.
The East Baton Rouge District Attorney released a statement in January acknowledging widespread public concern following the popularity of the video, in a statement obtained by WAFB.
“There have been several news stories following the release of a video of two dogs being abused in the Baton Rouge area. Some of these reports concerned the legal proceedings associated with these events. Many concerned citizens of our parish and state, as well as others around the country, have expressed their opinions about the treatment of these animals, their desire for prosecution of the offender(s) and the need to protect these animals.”
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office released a statement via Facebook that the dogs had been located and are not injured.
Both the East Baton Rouge and Iberville Parish sheriff’s offices jointly investigated the case.
“A warrant was put together with the evidence including the video, statements from other witnesses, and a positive ID of the juvenile defendant by the family and other witnesses,” said Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi, via WAFB.
The first judge to hear the case refused to sign an arrest warrant. After protests from local animal groups and continued public pressure, the case was seen by a new judge, who charged the teen with animal cruelty, on Feb. 5, WAFB reported.
Because the suspect is a juvenile, little information about the case in progress is made public. Many news sites are also refusing to show the original video due to its graphic nature.
Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi told WAFB that he is getting pressured by people in many corners who want to see the suspect punished.
“Massachusetts. We watching from Michigan. We watching from Colorado. Watching from Oklahoma. I’ve got calls from Australia, Nevada, New York, Maine, Texas, and they continue to call us and ask us questions and that’s why I’m here today, just trying to get answers for the people,” said Stassi.