Back in January, Opposing Views told you about Michael David Parker, the Los Angeles man who intentionally stole and ran over his estranged wife’s Chihuahua in a Hawthorne alley. The heinous act was caught on surveillance camera, and not long after, Parker was arrested.
Now, Parker, 45, has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, which include felony counts of animal cruelty and neglect, as well as a misdemeanor charge of petty theft of a dog. The animal cruelty charge alleges that Parker used his car as a deadly weapon.
The disturbing video shows Parker drive his car into the alley, put it in park, get the dog out of the trunk and into the alley behind the vehicle, get back into his car, reverse over the dog, and then speed away. Later on, police say the dog was placed in a plastic bag by somebody and moved over to the side of the alleyway before being discovered by a passerby days later.
"Someone was walking by and smelled it; it had been out for a while," said Hawthorne Police Lt. Scott Swain. “It's just shocking to see a little animal like that and to see this guy — you can actually see him drive toward the dog. We come across weird things, strange things, gruesome things, but even to us, to see something like this is shocking."
The five-year-old Chihuahua, named Cow Cow, belonged to Parker’s estranged wife, and although his motive isn’t clear, Parker initially said that it was an accident. After reviewing the video, however, it’s plain to see that the man had every intention of hurting Cow Cow.
“Cow Cow is run completely over,” said Swain. “It’s gruesome. It starts bleeding, his little back leg twitching. There’s no indication that’s it, ‘I’m angry at you. That’s why I’m doing that.’ It is both of their dogs. So we don’t have a motive. He was arrested and he didn’t want to go into details. He didn’t indicate why he did it.”
Parker’s estranged wife said she couldn’t believe that he killed the helpless dog and fears what else he is capable of doing.
“If someone would do that to a dog, what would he do to my kids?” asked Olga Parker.
Parker is set to appear back in court next month, and if convicted, he faces a maximum of five years and two months in prison.