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Dec 4, 2018 9:55 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Police Say Angry Man Killed Relative's Dog In Springs On Sunday

Jose J. Galvez-Garcia was arraigned in East Hampton Town Justice Court on Tuesday.       KYRIL BROMLEY
Dec 4, 2018 6:59 PM

A 21-year-old Springs man faces a felony count of aggravated cruelty to animals, after East Hampton Town Police said he stabbed and choked to death a dog owned by his aunt on Sunday night, because he was angry with her.

Speaking through a translator at his arraignment in East Hampton Town Justice Court on Tuesday, Jose J. Galvez-Garcia, who was arrested on Monday afternoon, pleaded not guilty to killing the 4-year-old Cockapoo, named Simba.

East Hampton Town Justice Lisa Rana set bail at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond. He was remanded to the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside after failing to post bail; his attorney, Cynthia Darrell, attempted in vain to have the bail reduced, pointing out that Mr. Galvez-Garcia had no prior convictions or arrests.

Police said they arrested Mr. Galvez-Garcia on Monday afternoon after one of the dog’s owners discovered the dead and badly mutilated pet in a wooded area near the end of Breeze Hill Road in Springs that morning. The owners, Mr. Galvez-Garcia’s aunt and uncle, had been searching for Simba since Sunday night.

At his arraignment, Mr. Galvez-Garcia’s mother and stepfather, who said they did not want to be named, sat in the front row while Mr. Galvez-Garcia spoke through a translator, Ximena Benito.

Assistant District Attorney Stacy Skorupa said Mr. Galvez-Garcia’s family said he was acting “weird” and “erratic” when he came home to his mother and stepfather at 8 p.m. on Sunday night—and that he “seemed upset” and was “acting disrespectful.” He told his mother, stepfather, siblings and cousin that he had been at the beach near Breeze Hill Road that evening.

Soon after, a family member noticed blood on Mr. Galvez-Garcia’s jacket. Later, his aunt and uncle called the family to say that their dog was missing.

According to Ms. Skorupa, the stepfather noticed a dent and dog hair in Mr. Galvez-Garcia’s car. The stepfather notified the uncle, and they began searching for the dog at the beach area where Mr. Galvez-Garcia had said he had been.

On Monday morning, Simba’s body was found in the woods about 50 feet from the road, with multiple stab wounds to the neck and torso. Police said the dog’s neck also had been snapped.

Without specifying what the argument had been about, Ms. Skorupa said Mr. Galvez-Garcia had confessed and said he was angry at his aunt for the way she had treated him.

According to Ms. Skorupa, Mr. Galvez-Garcia snatched the dog Sunday night and took it to his parents’ house. He grabbed a shovel and a kitchen knife, then took Simba to a secluded wooded area at Breeze Hill Road near the beach. He choked the dog with his hands and then stabbed the dog until he knew it was dead, the assistant DA said.

Ms. Skorupa said that Mr. Galvez-Garcia had been drinking prior to the incident and couldn’t completely bury the dog. On his drive home, he tossed the bloody knife and collar out of the car window.

In court on Monday, Mr. Galvez-Garcia’s mother and stepfather requested an order of protection against their son, which was granted by Justice Rana. An order of protection also was issued on behalf of the aunt and uncle. In addition, Mr. Galvez-Garcia was ordered by the court to surrender any weapons, including firearms.

He agreed to the terms of the orders of protection, then was taken in handcuffs to a police vehicle in the parking lot.

Mr. Galvez-Garcia, who is on a transit visa, moved to Springs from El Salvador three years ago. He was renting a room in a house on Woodbine Drive in Springs until November 29. Since then, he’d been living with his mother and stepfather on Cedar Drive in East Hampton, and occasionally living in his car. He worked for his stepfather’s landscaping business.

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