Riverdale Gardens residents and their neighbors could no longer stand pat after hearing the yelps of three dogs in pain since January inside the apartment complex at 5550 Netherland Ave.
They witnessed Trinton Hatton dragging and sometimes beating the three dogs — two doodle mixes and a French bulldog — and saw the blood left behind in the hallway on occasion. He was given the responsibility of watching the dogs regularly when his partner, Nashon Brown, was working during the day.
“He was punching them, kicking them, and swinging the dogs against the wall,” said Gina Egan, a neighbor. A CCTV video released on Facebook allegedly shows Hatton dragging one of the doodles into the elevator and then beating the dog while one of the other dogs looks on.
Police at the 50th Precinct were alerted at 9:38 p.m. April 7 of a report of people fighting inside Riverdale Gardens. Hatton was later arrested and issued a desk appearance ticket, according to Bronx district attorney’s office spokesperson Patrice O’Shaughnessy.
Having been charged with “torture, injure, no feed animal,” Hatton is scheduled to appear in Bronx Criminal Court on April 27. The custody of the dogs, who belong to Brown, will be decided at a later date.
“There will be a separate hearing about where the dogs will go,” O’Shaughnessy said. “Currently, the ASPCA has custody. They are waiting on medical exams to be completed.”
A combination of the video release and excessive 311 calls made by neighbors and residents seemed to make the difference in the police making the arrest, according to a Long Island-based pet adoption non-profit spokesperson.
“Residents have been complaining about these men since January,” said Laura Dellatte of Remember Me Rescue. “They have been beating dogs with a stick. They beat the dogs so badly that there was blood all over the hallway.
She mentioned that although the 50th Precinct had been called before April 7 about dog abuse at the building, they treated them as domestic violence calls that were resolved with no arrests.
“It finally took everyone in the building to call the police every day to get them to come out and deal with the situation,” Dellatte said. “The dogs were turned over to the ASPCA, who said the dogs suffered trauma.”
Many of the residents protested outside the Netherland Avenue building April 20 calling for the dogs not to be returned to the owner because they feared for their lives.
They have also started an online petition demanding “Trinton Hatton is held responsible for his violent attack on a small dog.” The petition, which has more than 17,000 signatures, also calls for Hatton to receive the maximum punishment allowable by law for the charges stemming from his abusive behavior. At sentencing, we also hope to see Hatton prohibited from owning or residing with animals in the future.”
In an interview with NBC-TV 4, Brown claimed he was the victim of the situation since he was at work at the time of the abuse.
“You gave me my dogs back and then you took them back three days later,” Brown said regarding the police officers taking back the dogs on April 10 to bring to the ASPCA. “Now, I have no dogs. I have no privacy. I’m getting no respect. I’m getting no help from anyone.”