Friday, April 28, 2017

Florida: Ernest Martin arrested after being caught on camera last year shoving puppies stuffed into pillowcases down a storm drain

FLORIDA -- A Florida man caught on video last September putting puppies into pillowcases, throwing them over a fence and then shoving them into a storm drain finally has been arrested.

Seven months after doing the deed, Ernest Martin, 39, was arrested by Jacksonville, Florida police on April 22, reports News4Jax.

Martin now faces six counts — one per puppy — of abandoning an animal in public without providing for its welfare.

According to police, Martin was caught on a surveillance camera last September, cramming pillowcases containing puppies into a culvert at a cross street in Jacksonville.

'It just breaks my heart to see someone hurting animals like that,' the unidentified surveillance camera owner told News4Jax, proceeding to describe what Martin did with the puppies.

'He throws them real high into the air and over the fence and they're hitting the ground,' the man said. 'He came back outside with some pillow cases, grabbed the puppies up one by one, came out here to the drain and started shoving them into the drain.'

Unable to fit all six of the puppies into the culvert, he walked over to another culvert and tried to cram the canines into that one, the camera owner said.

'When they started moving around, he was kicking them, trying to shove them back into the drain,' he added. 

After Martin left the area, police say that a passerby saw the pillowcases in the culvert. The dogs were then taken away to be cared for by other people.

The investigation determined that Martin had stolen the six puppies — all of which survived — from his stepfather, who has not been identified.

Martin's stepfather kept one of the puppies and doled out the remaining five puppies involved in Martin's attack to members of his family.

When speaking with News4Jax, Martin's mother, who requested anonymity, claimed that her son suffered from schizophrenia.

'When he saw the dogs, he thought they were little demons,' she said. 'He goes through little spasms, but he put them in there. He put them in the ditch.'

Martin is held on a $90,000 bond and awaiting trial, according to jail records.

( - April 27, 2017)