LANCASTER – A 54-year-old Lancaster man accused of punching and body slamming a puppy in an incident that was captured on cell phone video has pleaded no contest.
Robert Emmett Martin pleaded no contest Wednesday to one felony count of cruelty to an animal, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced. A no contest plea has the same legal effect as a guilty plea.
Martin was immediately sentenced to five years formal probation, 90 days of community service and 24 animal cruelty prevention classes. He also was prohibited from having any animal for 10 years.
On Aug. 8, Martin was captured on video brutally abusing his six-month-old pit bull mix named Daisy near 5th Street East and Lancaster Boulevard.
The video (see below) shows Martin swinging the wailing puppy in the air by its leash before slamming the puppy onto the concrete.
Martin can also be heard shouting racial slurs at the man who shot the video, 46-year-old Lindsey Cooks.
At a preliminary court hearing last month, Cooks testified that he began recording Martin after he witnessed Martin cursing at the puppy while punching and kicking the puppy several times in the head.
Cooks said when he warned Martin about the abuse, Martin called him a “ni**er.”
Cooks recorded the incident, then called local deputies to the scene and showed them the video. Minutes later Martin was arrested at his home in the 500 block of East Lancaster Boulevard.
Animal Control officers took custody of the puppy, which was dragging one of its legs and walking with a limp, according to testimony at the preliminary hearing.
“Daisy” spent time in foster care to recover from the mental trauma before she was adopted by a person in San Juan Capistrano.
“She is so sweet, she is now running, jumping playing, eating, drinking… she doesn’t cry in her sleep anymore and finally plays with her toys,” the new owner stated.
Martin will return to court Oct. 2 for a restitution hearing.
**Warning: Video contains graphic images and offensive language**
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