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Beating of dog on YouTube aids rescue; Police charge man with animal cruelty

A brutal beating of a young pit bull that was captured on video and later posted on YouTube over the weekend has led to the rescue of the dog and criminal charges against the person accused of doing the beating.

Diamond, a female pit bull believed to be about a year old, has been taken in by the SPCA Serving Erie County and is recovering from her injuries.

"The dog doesn't have any broken bones," said Gina Browning, the SPCA's public relations director. "We don't know if there is any brain damage She's walking and wagging her tail. She's just a sweetheart."

Buffalo police Monday charged David Roman, 32, who lists addresses in Buffalo and Elma, with animal cruelty, a misdemeanor under the state's Agriculture and Markets Law.

"It's a brutal beating, and the dog is clearly in pain," Browning said after watching part of the video Monday. "It's very difficult to watch. As long as I've worked here, I put off watching it 'til today, and I still couldn't watch the whole thing."

The beating occurred outdoors Friday night on Chandler Street, in the city's Black Rock area. The video was posted Saturday on YouTube and was taken down at about noon Monday.

SPCA officials learned about the video -- and the beating -- at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

"We received an anonymous call about this video being on YouTube," Browning said. SPCA officials then used social media to contact the person who took the video.

They learned that the person took the video on his phone's camera, hiding as he captured the beating on camera.

SPCA Peace Officers Amy Jaworski and Aaron Kandefer watched the video and determined that it was taken in the Black Rock-Riverside area. The officers went door to door, found where the dog was living and confiscated it by about 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Roman is not the owner of the dog. Authorities said he and the owner are acquaintances.

SPCA officials won't say where the dog is being treated, and it's unclear where Diamond will go once she recovers.

"The owner seems very surprised that this is happening and has expressed interest in retrieving the dog," Browning said.

e-mail: gwarner@buffnews.com

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