By Nicole Bode
DNAinfo Associate Editor
MANHATTAN — A heartless Morningside Heights man was arrested for animal abuse after being caught on camera brutally kicking his girlfriend’s dog around in a public housing elevator, police said.
Chris Grant, 21, was visiting the Grant Houses at Broadway near 125th Street about 2:35 a.m. on Jan. 2 when he entered the elevator holding his girlfriend’s tiny Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix, “Chuvy-Duvi” at the end of a leash, police said.
As the elevator doors close on the pair, Grant can be seen on video yanking the leash towards himself and kicking the 12-pound black and white furball to the other side of the elevator.
As the poor pup cowers in the corner, Grant is seen yanking the leash in closer again. Then, in a twisted move, he pats his right thigh playfully to entice the dog to jump up, scratches it behind the ear, then kicks it in the stomach and sends it flying, the video shows.
Grant then walked to a grocery store across the street and came back to the elevator, where he resumed his attack on the cowering mutt, police said.
At one point, the battered pooch lays motionless in the corner of the elevator, unable to stand up because of the repeated kicks, the video shows.
A five-man team from the NYPD's VIPER Unit, Housing Division (Video Interactive Patrol Enhancement Response), happened to be on the scene monitoring security video for suspicious activity because it was the same building where they had helped catch the suspected killer in the fatal stabbing of a 9-year-old-boy hours earlier.
Alejandro Morales, 25, faces life in prison for the murder of Anthony Maldonado Jan 2.
The five-man unit immediately noticed Grant as he launched his attack on the trapped, defenseless dog.
Lieutenant Jason Savino, Sergeant Christopher Dixon, Detective Michael Oner, Police Officer Raul Gabriel and Police Officer Naetron King were given certificates of recognition by Police Commissioner Kelly in his office this morning at Police Headquarters.
They kept an electronic eye on Grant during his round-trip errand, then tracked down the dog and removed it from Grant’s girlfriend. They took the female dog to the Bergh ASPCA for treatment, they said.
Grant was arrested when he was spotted returning to the apartment on Jan. 4. He was charged with torturing and injuring an animal and resisting arrest.
The dog is set to be released to Vidal’s family on Wednesday, police said.