2017-03-29 / Front Page

Queens Man Charged With KIlling Dog, Pug Allegedely Hurled From 7th Floor Apartment Balcony

Defendant Faces Up To Two Years In Prison If Convicted

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown today announced that a 35-year-old Fresh Meadows man has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals for the senseless killing of a 12-year-old female pug, whom the defendant allegedly threw from a balcony on March 17, 2017, following a dispute with his ex-girlfriend about who would care for the dog.

District Attorney Brown said, “The defendant is accused of aggravated cruelty to animals for killing a helpless dog by viciously throwing her from a balcony, from which she fell approximately 70 feet to the street below. Such acts of aggression toward defenseless animals cannot – and will not – be tolerated in Queens County.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Yuk Cheung, 35, of Parsons Boulevard in the Fresh Meadows section of Queens. The defendant was arraigned on Wednesday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Althea Drysdale on a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals. Bail was set at $10,000 and  the defendant was ordered to return to court on April 4, 2017. If convicted, Cheung faces up to two years in prison.

 District Attorney Brown said that, according to the charges, Cheung went to his former girlfriend’s apartment on 40th Road in Flushing on Friday, March 17, 2017, and the two argued about the care of his dog. When the defendant moved out of the apartment he left the 12-year-old pug behind. The ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Chan, told the defendant he needed to find a place to stay that permitted dogs. The defendant allegedly responded that she “would not have to worry about the dog anymore” and picked up the pug and walked onto the 7th floor apartment’s balcony. When he returned inside, he did not have the animal.

According to the charges, District Attorney Brown continued, Chan asked the defendant what happened to the dog and he allegedly replied that the pug had slipped. When speaking to a detective about the dog’s death on March 21, 2017, the defendant allegedly stated he tripped going onto the balcony and the dog left his hands. And later, it is alleged, the defendant changed his story to say the dog leaped out of his arms and must have gone through the balcony’s metal railing. The defendant found the animal dead on the street and placed her in a box with ice and dumped the remains in a nearby garbage receptacle.

 The complaint further states, said District Attorney Brown, that the detective investigating the matter visited the apartment building and determined that the balcony extends about five or six feet from the building and directly below the balcony there is a landing that extends approximately 25 feet beyond the building’s facade. It is alleged that the defendant had to have propelled the dog about 40 feet through the air for her body to have cleared the balcony, landing below and the sidewalk before hitting the street - about six feet from the edge of the sidewalk.

The investigation was conducted by Detective Dennis Steele of the New York City Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad, under the supervision of Sergeant Michael Murphy.
Assistant District Attorney Nicoletta J. Caferri, Chief of the District Attorney’s Animal Cruelty Prosecutions Unit, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Anthony Communiello, Chief of the District Attorney’s Special Proceedings Bureau, and Oscar W. Ruiz, Deputy Chief,  and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney of Investigations Peter A. Crusco.

It should be noted that a criminal complaint is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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