Woman punched, kicked, struck her service dog with glass bottle near Boston Common, prosecutor says

BOSTON — A woman was arrested after police say she was seen punching, kicking, and beating her service dog with a glass bottle near Boston Common on Tuesday night.

Jasmine Velasquez, 27, of Boston, was arraigned Wednesday in Boston Municipal Court on charges of animal cruelty and assault and battery on a law enforcement officer.

Officers conducting a walk-and-talk near the Common around 8:40 p.m. overheard the noise of a crying dog and learned that a woman was beating the animal in the area of 131 Tremont Street, according to the Boston Police Department.

“As officers approached the suspect, they observed the suspect kick the dog,” the department said in a statement. “Officers were able to quickly separate the suspect from the dog and moved the dog to a safe location as there was broken glass and unknown liquid on the ground.”

Multiple witnesses alleged that the woman, later identified as Velasquez, struck the dog multiple times with her hands, feet, and the bottle.

A prosecutor said in court that video of the alleged incident was caught on a nearby street camera.

“They [officers] were able to see Ms. Velasquez hit the dog with an open right hand one time, hit the dog with a glass bottle 11 times, and kick the dog three times,” the prosecutor told the court. “The dog was screaming when officers arrived.”

Boston Animal Control responded to the Common and took custody of the dog. The extent of the dog’s injuries wasn’t revealed in court.

Boston Department of Recreation identified the dog as Rocky, a 5-year-old Australian cattle dog.

While in a Boston police booking cell, Velasquez spit on an officer who was forced to restrain her for being “uncooperative,” according to the prosecutor.

The prosecution requested Velasquez be held on $1,500 cash bail and that she stay away from witnesses connected to the case and have no animals in her custody.

Velasquez, the mother of a 4-month-old who is in DCF custody, held her hands to her face and sobbed loudly in court as her attorney told the judge that she currently resides at the Pine Street Inn.

However, the Pine Street Inn says Velasquez has not received services from Pine Street for almost two years.

“The $1,500 is beyond the scope of anything she could muster,” Velasquez’s attorney said. “She is not working at this time because she is disabled. She told me that she fractured her tibia last year and she’s still recovering. She still has balance and ambulation issues. That’s why she has the service dog to assist her with ambulation.”

Velasquez is due back in court in December for a pretrial hearing.

An investigation remains ongoing.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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