A 30-year-old East Palo Alto man seen allegedly slamming a small dog onto the ground while recording it with his phone has been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty, Redwood City police said.
The incident occurred in Redwood Shores last weekend. A witness on Sunday reported seeing someone abusing a small dog in the area of Avocet Drive. Investigators found security camera footage nearby that appeared to show a man pulling the dog by its leash, swinging it into the air and then forcefully slamming it to the ground multiple times while recording the actions with his phone, police said.
Redwood City police on Tuesday released suspect photos through social media and asked for the public's help in identifying him. Multiple tips helped officers identify the man as the alleged abuser.
Detectives obtained a warrant for his arrest and on Wednesday went to his home in East Palo Alto to try to take him into custody. The man tried to flee by climbing out onto the balcony from his third-floor apartment and then went onto the roof of the building. Officers eventually arrested him on the rooftop and booked him into San Mateo County Jail on suspicion of felony animal cruelty, police said.
Detectives were able to locate the dog's owner, who was unaware of the abuse. The dog was found to be safe with no signs of lasting injury, according to police.
The has been released from San Mateo County Jail in Redwood City on $50,000 bond, San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. His next scheduled court appearance is Dec. 4 at 8:30 a.m.
Internet rumors have pointed to an online business profile by a man with the same name who claims to be a Stanford Health Care nurse.
Julie Greicius, Stanford Health Care senior director of external communications, has confirmed with the hospital's human resources department that no one with the arrested man's name has ever been employed by Stanford Health Care nor worked for the hospital through a third-party agency.
The California Board of Registered Nurses database also does not list anyone by the man's name.
"We were unable to find it listed there, which would indicate that he is not a registered nurse," she said, noting that online impersonations are not unusual.
The Weekly also confirmed the man is not listed as a nurse in the database.
Anyone with additional information about the case is encouraged to contact Detective Sgt. Russ Felker at 650-780-7627.
Editor's Note: Palo Alto Online's policy is to withhold the names of those arrested for most crimes until the District Attorney has determined there is sufficient evidence to file charges in the case. See our guidelines here.