York man sentenced in viral dog-beating case

Luis J. Cruz-Padro, Jr. pled guilty to charges of animal cruelty.

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – A man who admitted to beating a pit bull in a video posted to a social media website will have to serve two months of house arrest and two years of intermediate punishment.

Luis J. Cruz-Padro, 28, was sentenced Tuesday at the York County Courthouse.

He pleaded guilty in April to an open count of animal cruelty after the video showed him dragging, punching, and whipping a white, male pit bull. A neighbor videotaped the incident and posted a two-and-a-half-minute video to Facebook.

The dog was named “Bugz” while in the care of the York County SPCA.

During sentencing Tuesday, Cruz-Pardro broke down while reading a prepared statement but took responsibility for what he did. He told the judge there is not a day that goes by where he doesn’t think of his old dog.

Cruz-Padro said he lost his temper when “Bugz” lunged at his newborn son and he regrets what he did.

His defense attorney, David Erhard, told the judge Cruz-Padro has seen a tremendous backlash from the video. Erhard said his client has been assaulted and has been threatened online.

Judge Michael Bortner admitted that coming to a sentence was difficult because he believed Cruz-Padro snapped during a weak moment.

“He entered an open plea, meaning pled guilty not knowing what his consequences would be,” Erhard said about his client. “I think if you look at the history of the way this case has unfolded, there is evidence he really came in here ready to take accountability for what he did.”

Cruz-Padro will also have to pay fines and perform 150 hours of community service. Judge Bortner considered making Cruz-Padro serve his community service at an animal shelter, but that was passed over when a member of the SPCA suggested it would not be a good idea.

“Bugz” was adopted by a new owner in January.

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