Chihuahua Wrapped in Wire, Kicked Like Soccer Ball, Police Say

He has since been reunited with his owners

A transient probationer was charged Tuesday with binding a runaway Chihuahua and repeatedly kicking the dog in Santa Ana, California.

Jose Manuel Pantoja Ledesma, 28, is being held without bail and is due in court this afternoon for arraignment on a single felony count of cruelty to animals for allegedly wrapping a bungee cord around the dog's throat and chest and binding his legs with electrical wires.

A woman taking out the trash at a business about 10:20 p.m. Sunday saw a man -- later identified as Pantoja -- kicking the dog at 431 E. First St., Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna alleged.

"She yells at him to stop but realizes he's probably on drugs and shouldn't do this so she calls us and gives us details," he said. "When we got there, he's standing over the dog and we took him into custody."

The dog was rushed to the Orange County Emergency Pet Clinic to be treated. He has since been reunited with his owners, who reported their 13-year-old pet, Max, had gotten out of their yard when someone left the gate open, Bertagna said.

Max has been with the family since he was a puppy, Bertagna said.

Stephany Chavez, the Chihuahua's owner, told NBC 4 photographers the dog had been missing for hours. Her friend sent her a picture and said the dog had been found, but it was not clear what condition it was in.


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Court records show that Pantoja pleaded guilty to a felony charge of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury on Nov. 16 in a plea deal in which a robbery charge was dropped. He was sentenced to three years probation and a year in jail, according to court records.

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