A Chino Hills man was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty--allegedly pouring scalding water on a caged dog--during an incident recorded by a cellphone camera, according to authorities and the reporting witnesses.
Authorities responded after receiving a call from two teenagers who reported hearing a dog yelp in pain, then seeing a man on an apartment balcony pouring liquid from a kettle onto a cage. The teens recorded video. The dog could not be seen in the video, but could be heard when the water was poured. The witnesses--seniors at Chino Hills High School-- told responding deputies it happened at least five times.
Enping Qu, 22, was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of animal cruelty.
The teens described being startled by the "cries" of the dog.
"I couldn't walk away," said Giselle, 17. "I had to call."
Besides pouring the liquid, the man on the balcony also made "threatening gestures," said Jose, also 17. They were in Pinehurst Park, which is adjacent to the apartment building near the corner of Butterfield Ranch Road and Park Drive.
When authorities entered the apartment to speak with Qu, they noticed a kettle containing "scorching hot water" and discovered the dog's coat was still wet and warm, according to the Chino Hills Station of the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department. Responders from the Inland Valley Humane Society measured the water temperature in a kettle at 129 degrees, authorities said.
The dog, a mixed breed believed to about three years of age and named "Sophie," was taken from the apartment and is currently being treated at the Inland Valley Humane Society. The dog suffered burns, possibly second degree, and will require observation at least 3-5 days, according to veterinarian Cynthia Kinney.
Sophie is the companion of Qu's girlfriend, authorities believe. She was not present during the incident.
Qu is from China and speaks limited English. A digital translator was used during questioning. It appeared Qu was trying "to intimidate" the dog, said Sheriff's Deputy Daniel Renear.
Qu posted bail Wednesday and was released from custody, but still faces a possible felony charge. He could not be reached for comment.