GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) (4/13/2018) - A graphic video of alleged animal cruelty led the Genesee County Sheriff's Office to a man accused of domestic violence against his girlfriend.
The video released by Sheriff Robert Pickell on Thursday shows a man pick up a 4-month-old puppy by the skin of its neck, carry it across the street and slam it against a parked car.
Pickell identified him on Friday as 23-year-old David Allen. He called Allen "a monster," during a press conference about the investigation.
Pickell said his office received the video from a home surveillance camera system from a concerned witness. When officers met with Allen, they found the puppy's living area unheated with no food, water or bedding material.
Pickell said Allen admitted to abusing the puppy named Baby because he was upset about it running across the street.
When officers went to meet with Allen's live-in girlfriend, they noticed several bruises on her face and neck. She told police Allen had brutally assaulted about a week earlier and at least once before that.
"She's like a prisoner in that house," Pickell said of the girlfriend. "And we learned on at least two occasions that he slapped her and hit her about the face and on one occasion, near the end of March, sometime around March 23rd, he actually choked her out."
Officers talked with the suspect's girlfriend as part of the investigation. During that conversation, she made allegations of him physically abusing her on at least two occasions, Pickell said.
The woman lives with Allen and his niece.
Pickell, an outspoken advocate for tougher penalties on animal crimes, said the case shows how animal abuse often spirals into more serious abuse against people.
"Predatory behavior must be addressed, no matter who is the victim," he said.
Allen was arrested on charges of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, animal cruelty, misdemeanor domestic violence and unspecified weapons charges related to rifles and handguns in the home.
Allen was arraigned Thursday and remained in custody at the Genesee County Jail on $15,000 bond. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.