SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — Prosecutors may file charges against a Southern California Gas Company meter reader who allegedly struck and killed a dog at a Redlands home despite a conflicting report from the Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley, officials said Wednesday.
The group Wednesday issued a statement about the incident, which allegedly occurred April 24 at a residence in the 1400 block of Washington Street, saying a cruelty investigations officer determined it was likely a "horrible accident."
Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley Development & Community Outreach Coordinator Jill Henderson also quoted Deputy District Attorney Jeanetta Ringhofer as saying that "proof beyond reasonable doubt that the meter reader intentionally and maliciously killed the dog could not be established."
However, the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office says it has yet to review the case.
Resident Cathy Rodriguez told KCAL9's Tom Wait her three Yorkies, including 5-year-old Bean Bean, barked and approached the employee when the meter reader walked onto her property.
According to Rodriguez, the employee swung at Bean Bean with a baton-like instrument — a rubber stick designed to shoo away pesky pets — and hit the diminutive six-pound dog.
Bean Bean died at a local animal hospital a short time later from "blunt force trauma to the side of the head," Humane Society officer Frank Padilla told The Press-Enterprise.
Human Society investigators will continue to work with SoCal Gas to evaluate their meter reader protocols "to prevent tragic incidents like this from happening in the future," Henderson said.
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