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Florida man choked puppy to death, threatened to throw it from balcony, police say

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — A South Florida man is accused of choking a puppy to death and threatening to throw it from an apartment building balcony, authorities said.

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Jonathan Lawrence Goldstein, 36, of Boynton Beach, was arrested Tuesday and charged with animal cruelty, WPEC-TV reported.

Police responded 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to the Monteverde at Renaissance Park apartment complex in Boynton Beach after receiving three 911 calls reporting that man was screaming and yelling from a balcony, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Six witnesses later gave police sworn statements about what happened to the 4-month-old, tan Maltese-Yorkie mix named Cinnamon, the newspaper reported.

According to an arrest report, a neighbor heard the dog whimpering loudly, while another neighbor saw Goldstein leaving the building with his hands around the animal’s neck, WPEC reported. A maintenance man told police he observed Goldstein walking down the street while holding the dog in front of him, trying to blow air into its mouth occasionally, the television station reported.

“The dog appeared lifeless,” a police officer wrote in an arrest report.

According to the report, police ordered Goldstein to put the dog down, which he did, WPEC reported. Goldstein was arrested and booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on a $10,000 bond.

Animal cruelty investigators said the puppy died at the scene, the television station reported. The dog was taken to Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control for a necropsy, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Goldstein appeared in court Wednesday morning and a judge ordered him transported to a mental health center.

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