An Indiana man is facing felony charges for allegedly stealing two dogs from a woman who rejected his romantic advances and then beating them to death, the Times of Northwest Indiana reports.
Anthony Priestas, 23, of Hammond, Indiana, is charged with two felony counts of killing a domestic animal.
On the morning of Feb. 21, Priestas allegedly stole a pair of pugs from the home of a Crown Point woman who refused to date him. A witness reportedly told police she saw Priestas walking away from the home that morning with both of the dogs.
He then allegedly took the dogs to a county road in rural Porter County and began beating them.
A woman reportedly heard the dogs yelping in pain and went to check what was going on. Then, she said, she saw Priestas raise one of the dogs over his head and slam it to the ground repeatedly.
The witness reportedly said she yelled to try to stop Priestas, but he began beating the dog with a black object. When she told him police were on the way, he allegedly threw the dog into some nearby water and left.
Police said they arrived and found both dogs dead in the water.
Priestas, who is being held in Porter County jail without bond, pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Steven Alvarez, claimed that Priestas is an animal lover and said he is confident the justice system “will show my client’s innocence and they have the wrong person locked up.”