LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - Police on Friday charged Atlanta Falcons linebacker Prince Shembo with aggravated animal cruelty after his girlfriend's dog died from blunt force trauma. The Falcons have subsequently dropped him from their roster.
Denicia Williams called police on April 19 to report that her boyfriend had killed her dog, Gwinnett County police said in a news release Friday. Williams told police she had taken her Yorkie, Dior, to Shembo's apartment on April 15. At some point, she left Shembo alone with the dog, and when she found the dog later he was unresponsive.
Williams took the dog to an animal hospital where he died a short time later. Shembo told her over the phone the next day that he had kicked the dog, and she ended their relationship, Williams told police.
A number could not be found for Shembo and it wasn't immediately clear whether he had a lawyer who could comment on the charges. The Falcons did not immediately have a comment Friday afternoon.
Shembo, 23, is 6-foot-2 and weighs 254 pounds, according to the Falcons' website.
A necropsy on the dog's body was done April 21 and tissue samples were sent to the University of Georgia for further testing. Police say the final results were available Thursday.
While waiting for those results, a police investigator spoke to Shembo several times by phone. Police decided to take out a warrant for Shembo's arrest because of inconsistencies in his account of what happened and because of the necropsy results, the release says.
The dog suffered extensive injuries, including a fractured rib, abdominal hemorrhage, head trauma, eye injuries and extensive bruising in the muscles of his front leg and shoulders.
Police said an investigator contacted the Falcons to let them know about the warrant.