A Long Island man was arrested Friday on animal cruelty and assault charges and stands accused of using a bat to beat his dog into such critical condition that veterinarians needed to euthanize her, Suffolk County police said.
Steven Errante, 26, of Dix Hills, was arraigned Dec. 28 on charges of aggravated cruelty to animals and second-degree assault. He remains behind bars Saturday night in lieu of $35,000 bail or $75,000 bond.
“This is the worst case of animal abuse that I’ve seen in my 20-year career,” Det. Sgt. John O’Sullivan told reporters Saturday.
Police officers found Errante’s Labrador mix suffering from serious injuries, including fractures to her skull, face and forearm, as well as blunt-force trauma injuries to the body, authorities said. Officers had been called to the home on Deer Park Avenue after receiving a call for a possibly injured animal inside the house.
“I basically beat the dog with a bat,” Errante is quoted as saying in court documents, according to Newsday.
Police said the dog was taken to an emergency veterinary clinic and then transferred to the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island, where employees nicknamed her “Chantel Girl.” The pup remained critically injured for almost a week. She began to experience seizures on Friday night, which veterinary staff said was “likely as a result of her critical condition and trauma sustained” and was euthanized Saturday.
“Despite the slight progress she initially made over the last few days, Chantel Girl declined significantly yesterday evening,” veterinary staff posted Saturday morning to the animal hospital’s Facebook page. “It is with a heavy heart that we report that Chantel Girl is no longer with us.”
According to court records, Errante’s charge of second-degree assault stemmed from an incident involving his father in October. He is accused of breaking one of his father’s ribs after striking him with a baton.
Errante did not answer any questions Saturday as he was walked out of the Second Precinct in Huntington. His attorney, Mary-Elizabeth Abbate, could not be reached Saturday night for comment.