A Fresno, California pool maintenance worker has admitting to killing a family’s beloved Yorkshire Terrier after being caught on video throwing the dog’s lifeless body into a trash can.
Pool technician Aaron Cumpton, 23, is facing felony animal cruelty charges after confessing to the dog killing on Thursday night, according to KGPE. The dog’s owner Kim Garcia told the outlet that her family had been vacationing when a dog sitter noticed that their 16-year-old canine companion “Artie” had gone missing on Tuesday. When footage from a surveillance camera was checked, Garcia made a horrifying discovery.
“I got excited because I was like oh, cool, the pool guy got him, oh cool, he’s got him, or maybe he took him back to the business,” Garcia said. “I was getting hopeful as I was watching the videos initially. And then my heart dropped when I realized what actually happened.”
The footage appears to show Artie walking away from the front of the house before Cumpton picks up the dog and carries him back towards the front door. Images taken a short time later show Cumpton carrying what looks like Artie’s limp body towards a gray trash can on the curb. He is then seen dropping the body inside.
“I never thought my dog would be murdered,” said Garcia. “It took me a minute to register it but I was furious when I realized what he was doing.”
Garcia reported the incident to police and an investigator soon called to inform her that Cumpton had allegedly confessed to the killing. The investigator said that Cumpton admitted to strangling Artie after becoming angry when he was bitten while trying to force the dog back inside the house through a dog door.
Cumpton offered to provide the family with a written apology but Garcia rejected the offer. She reportedly described Cumpton as a “monster,” while admitting that he would likely not “get what he deserves” because of “the way the law works.” Although the outcome of any criminal prosecution is yet to be seen, the incident resulted in Cumpton at least temporarily being out of a job.
“We have since suspended the employee pending the results of the Fresno Police Department’s investigation,” Pure Water Pools, Cumpton’s employer, said in a statement. “We will continue to work with authorities to ensure that this incident is handled appropriately and that justice is served.”
Cumpton was released from jail on Friday, telling KGPE that he “absolutely” regretted his actions and asking the Garcia family to forgive him. He insisted that he will “look to be a better person from here on out.” Cumpton is expected to attend a court hearing on January 20, 2022.