Activists' Detective Work Brings a Sadist to Justice

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Activists' Detective Work Brings a Sadist to Justice

From Animals In Print (AIP), The On-Line Newsletter
December 2009

Man who threw dog off bridge and posted video online is brought to justice by horrified Internet users

Title

A young man who threw a dog off a bridge has been hunted down by outraged animal lovers on the Internet.

He had posted mobile phone video footage on a website of himself dropping the dog on to a road below.

The footage starts with the 22-year-old carrying the dog - whose name is Pipiras, which means 'Pepper' - to the side of a bridge.

The man, believed to be Lithuanian Svajunas Beniukas, was filmed by a friend on his mobile phone.

While the trusting animal sits calmly in his arms, he scans the traffic to make sure no cars are coming.

He speaks to the camera and makes a joke about filming proof that 'dogs can fly.'

Then, horrifyingly, he raises the dog over the railing - and then lets go.

The dog lies crumpled on the ground beneath the bridge. Miraculously, the animal survives and can be heard crying in distress over the roar of the traffic.

The video is so shocking that most websites have barred its full content.

The dog was rescued and is receiving treatment for multiple fractures and internal injuries and was expected to survive.

But the cruel clip quickly circulated in Lithuanian where the footage was shot causing mounting outrage.

It was then passed on to other countries and began to gather pace as more and more users around the world expressed their fury.

There then began an angry search among horrified animal lovers for the culprit.

Working with the authorities, they soon realized that the dog was dropped from a bridge in the Vilkija district in Kaunas, the second largest city in Lithuania.

Local police then worked with users of a local website to identify the man as Beniukas, who - on learning of the hunt online - turned himself in to police.

Baltic Times reporter Rokas Trecevsjis said Beniukas was already on police radar - he was a suspect in a robbery that had been committed earlier.

Following the Internet campaign, Beniukas is understood to have turned himself in.

The Lithuanian man is expected to be charged with animal cruelty

The dog had allegedly killed some of his mother's chickens at her home in the village of Seredzius.

It is believed Beniukas stole the dog and took it to the bridge to exact his revenge.

Beniukas, who lives in Kaunas, has been charged with animal cruelty.

If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail.

Police later issued a statement thanking users of the website 15.min.it, in particular, for helping them to identify the culprit.

UPDATE From The Editor:

Sadly we at AIP must report little innocent Pepper has passed away due to internal injuries he received after being thrown off high bridge onto hard ground. He fought to live and his human companion is very distraught.

This death affected not only his family but was followed globally due to Internet exposure and viewing the video. The video isn't available on line as it is too graphic and could encourage duplicate acts.

The outrage and I mean global outrage is huge and people are insisting this man be punished severely.

It is a known fact that people who do heinous acts to animals soon turn to bigger prey, humans. This man is a threat to animals and people in his community. We need to work globally to increase the punishment for such atrocities as this. This type of behavior is a serious concern.