Cop blotter: three men arrested, Broc’s Puppies owner charged with animal cruelty
August 8, 2009
South Lake Tahoe police arrested three men Thursday night after they allegedly hit a 33-year-old South Lake Tahoe man with a rock for wearing the wrong colored T-shirt, said Lt. Marty Hale.
At about 6:30 p.m. Mario Amial, 20; Alejandro Martinez, 27; and Marcos Martinez, 28; allegedly drove up next to the man on Fern Road in a black Chevrolet Blazer and began questioning him about his gang affiliations, said Hale said.
The three men allegedly got out of the vehicle and began telling the man that his blue shirt was the wrong color. One of the men then allegedly picked up a softball sized rock and threw it at the man, hitting him in the hip, Hale said.
One of the men then allegedly threw a similar-sized rock into the windshield of a nearby Plymouth Voyager, despite the victim telling the man he didn’t own the vehicle, Hale said.
After allegedly shoving another man who had come over to break up the situation, the men left the scene, Hale said. Shortly following the incident, police officers located the suspect vehicle in the parking lot of the Raley’s Supermarket near Stateline. The men were located and identified as being those involved in the alleged assault, Hale said.
Police booked the men into El Dorado County Jail in South Lake Tahoe on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism and participating in a criminal street gang.
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The man who was hit with the rock declined medical attention at the scene, Hale said.
Three misdemeanor charges – including one for alleged animal cruelty – have been filed against a local puppy store owner, according to a criminal complaint filed by El Dorado County prosecutors last month.
Broc’s Puppies owner, Dennis Franks, is charged with animal cruelty, obstructing a peace officer and failure to care for an animal for alleged incidents involving a Shetland Sheep Dog puppy on June 18, according to the complaint.
Franks allegedly refused to give the puppy needed veterinary care for a broken bone the puppy had suffered and was evasive when questioned about the puppy by a county animal services officer, said Hans Uthe, El Dorado County Assistant District Attorney.
Franks – represented by a public defender – appeared at an arraignment in South Lake Tahoe on July 29 and requested time to retain his own attorney, according to court documents. The request was granted and the next hearing in the case is scheduled for Aug. 26.
Phone calls to Broc’s Puppies went directly to voice mail on Thursday and Friday.
Animal advocates have criticized the store for allegedly selling puppies bought from brokers who purchase puppies from inhumane breeders – known as puppy mills – and the South Lake Tahoe City Council has passed an ordinance that would ban the retail sale of cats and dogs in South Lake Tahoe within two years.
Franks has denied allegations that he purchases puppies from puppy mills and has threatened to sue the city and animal advocates for allegedly harassing him.
The misdemeanor charges are unrelated to an investigation surrounding allegedly forged veterinary documents at the store. Those allegations prompted a search of the puppy store in June.
Investigators continue to examine documents seized during that search, Uthe said.
• Police do not expect to file charges against a 57-year-old South Lake Tahoe man who allegedly ran over the foot of a 38-year-old business partner in the parking lot of Meeks Lumber and Hardware at about 8:40 a.m. on Thursday.
Although the 38-year-old suffered a broken foot as a result of the incident and the two had been arguing prior, police do not believe there was intent on the part of the driver to injure the man, said Lt. Marty Hale.