On June 18th, John Lendino—a 53-year-old "deranged deaf mute"—stomped a 4-week-old pit bull puppy to death in Tompkins Square Park. He was in court yesterday wearing a Born To Be Wild t-shirt and sticking his tongue out at reporters, according to the NY Post, yet he remains free on $5,000 bail, a fact that has outraged many. Manhattan prosecutors say they're waiting for Lendino's psychiatric records before bringing him before a grand jury, however—which isn't due to happen until the end of November.
An eyewitness, 20-year-old Ali Martin—who lives in a van in the East Village and had given the puppy to a homeless man—declared, "If he's able to do that to an innocent puppy, he's obviously insane—and he could hurt a baby for all we know."
Martin had just gotten the pup a clean bill of health with the Humane Society, and the homeless man had been playing with him on a walkway near Avenue A and 7th Street when Lendino strolled up and stomped on its head until it was crushed. Lendino has been charged with felony cruelty to animals, which could land him four years behind bars.