Assistant District Attorney Jed Painter of the D.A.’s animal crimes unit said at the Nassau County Courthouse last Wednesday that in light of the “completely fictitious” messages submitted to the police, the assault, aggravated harassment and contempt charges against DeMartino had no merit. As a result, the physical abuse charges against DeMartino were also dropped at the request of prosecutors.
Additionally, Painter said that after consulting with both local and national dog training experts, he had determined that video evidence shared online, which appeared to show DeMartino repeatedly violently jabbing a clearly scared, cowering dog -which he had locked in a cage - with a pole, was not enough to warrant animal abuse charges.
This is bull! Give us the names of these "local and national dog training experts" who would tell you that this is not abuse. If BRIAN DEMARTINO did that to my dog, he would be singing soprano in the Vienna boys' choir by the time I got done with him.
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ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY
ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY
JED PAINTER SAYS THIS ISN'T ANIMAL CRUELTY!
All that remained was a single count of aggravated harassment related to threatening texts sent to Tommy Marrone, the Oceanside resident and former NYPD detective who posted the footage to Facebook in December — sent to him by DeMartino’s girlfriend — of the dog trainer jabbing the caged pit bull as the animal appeared to lunge and bite.
Marrone had previously sent his dog to DeMartino for training, and out of concern for his and others’ pets, shared the video online. It would soon go viral, and the original post has garnered more than 100,000 views. DeMartino would later send a series of threatening texts to Marrone in April.
Many other people came forward to say that, after sending their dog to DeMartino to be trained, their animal was returned to them with teeth knocked out, with open wounds on their heads that DeMartino claimed was from another dog biting it. They say they all believe DeMartino beat, tortured and abused their dog, just like the dog in this video.
On the condition that DeMartino pleaded guilty to the harassment charge and spend eight weeks in an anger-management program, County Judge Meryl Berkowitz agreed to reduce the misdemeanor to a violation upon his completion of the course. She then explained that his record would be sealed and hidden from the public.
Go ahead Judge Berkowitz, seal the record and hide his criminal record from the public. The video showing him abusing and torturing animals will be available forever.
Berkowitz praised the prosecutors for their thoughtful and independent investigation. Their work represented, she said, “the highest form of justice and ethics [the D.A.’s] office could display.”
VIDEO NEWS CLIP:
(LI Herald - June 13, 2017)