Neighborhoods

Staten Island Man Indicted for Beating Chihuahua to Death

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It’s been a while since we had a roasted-cat or a mutilated-dog story. So here ya go: Frank Coppola of (surprise!) Staten Island was indicted by a grand jury today for beating his girlfriend’s chihuahua to death.


Coppola “never got along with his girl friend’s dog… and the feeling appeared to be mutual,” says the Staten Island Advance. On February 28 the girlfriend, Melissa DePietro (who, for reasons that will become clear, is now estranged from Coppola), left the dog, named Bella (pictured, with her children), in Coppola’s care. Later she received an emergency call from Coppola, and rushed home to find the dog’s battered body. Its ribs had been broken, its lungs bruised, and one eye blackened. Coppola said Bella had “run into a wall.” DePietro, a schoolteacher, accepted this explanation until a vet who examined the corpse disabused her.


Coppola’s charges are felony and misdemeanor animal cruelty. His lawyer says Bella actually suffered her injuries while lost and roaming the neighborhood, but only succumbed several days later, perhaps the victim of a shih tzu’s Dim Mak Death Strike. The Advance commenters are, as always, a delight (“10 bucks says they end up getting married”).

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