Serving the High Plains

Man accused of hitting dogs with broomstick

A Tucumcari man was charged with two counts of animal cruelty after being accused of hitting two dogs with a broomstick, including one more than a dozen times.

Manuel Trujillo, 63, was charged on Dec. 11 with two counts of cruelty to animals, a petty misdemeanor. Such a charge could lead up to six months in jail or up to a $500 fine.

Trujillo was detained that day on a warrant and booked into the Quay County Detention Center.

According to an affidavit filed by Tucumcari Police Patrolman Elijah Huber, he was informed by animal control officer Zachary Martinez of a possible animal cruelty case.

Martinez obtained video evidence that showed Trujillo striking or striking at a white dog and a black dog with a broomstick. The officer also said two people saw Trujillo striking the dogs.

Martinez stated in the affidavit that Trujillo told him two of his dogs killed one of his puppies while he was away from home. Trujillo said he tried to discipline the dogs but hit a fence with the broomstick and not the animals.

One of the witnesses said she was walking down a street near Trujillo’s home and saw him beating the dogs with a broomstick.

Confronted with the witness’ statement, Trujillo told Martinez “she needed to mind her own business and if he did hit the dogs it was only about two times.”

Martinez spoke with a second witness who shot video of Trujillo allegedly hitting the dogs with a broomstick.

Martinez wrote he saw on the video Trujillo with a broomstick “chasing a black dog and striking it on the back one time making the dog cry in pain.”

Seconds later, “he went after a white in colored (sic) dog striking it approximately 13 times on unknown parts of the body making it cry in pain.”

Martinez said he believed Trujillo “intentionally or maliciously” struck the dogs with the intent to cause harm or injury.

Huber said that police took the dogs into custody at the city pound.

Trujillo was arraigned Wednesday in front of Magistrate Judge Noreen Hendrickson. He pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.

Among Trujillo’s release conditions are random animal welfare checks by the district attorney’s office.

Public defender Brett Phelps of Las Vegas was assigned to Trujillo’s case.