The woman’s neighbor told police Anthony Priestas, 23, gave her a “very angry look” when she told him to stop hurting the dogs, the Chicago Tribune reported.
She allegedly saw Priestas slam one of the pugs on the ground several times last month and heard an animal “screeching” in pain, the newspaper said. The resident tried to stop him, but he drove away, the Associated Press reported.
Priestas is accused of stealing the two dogs, Marley and Mugsy, from a home in Porter Township, Indiana (about 57 miles southwest of Chicago), beating the two dogs to death and then throwing them in the water, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported. The owner, Brandy Ortiz, wasn’t home at the time, the Tribune reported.
Animal control officers found the two dogs in a water-filled culvert, the newspaper reported. Ortiz and her family later identified them at an animal shelter.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
Ortiz told police that she remembered Priestas had been trying to date her, but she rejected his advances, according to court documents.
Priestas is charged with two counts of killing a domestic animal, the AP reported. But according to court records, he also faces domestic battery charges in another case.
He was accused last year of pushing and pulling the hair of a woman he had been romantically involved with before the alleged assault, the Times reported.
Priestas said Friday at a hearing on the new charges that he tried to take a lie detector test to prove his innocence, but his attorney, Steven Alvarez, cut him off, the newspaper reported.
“Anthony, stop talking,” Alvarez reportedly said.
A judge ordered Priestas held pending a bond hearing, calling him “a danger to the community,” the Chicago Tribune reported.