Rhode Island man sentenced to prison for beating Yorkie to death with cane
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A Cranston man was sentenced on Wednesday to spend the next four months in prison followed by eight months home confinement after he was found guilty of beating his neighbor’s Yorkshire terrier to death with his cane. In November, a jury found Nicola Patalano, 60, guilty of felony malicious injury to Missy, a ten-pound Yorkie.
Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter also ordered Patalano not to have any contact with the dog’s owner, to take anger management classes, contribute $500 to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and perform community service. According to the Providence Journal, the total sentence was for two years with one year suspended.
On November 21, 2014, Dolores Antonelli, 80, had been walking her Yorkie when she spotted Patalano walking his larger terrier. As the Yorkie ran toward the other dog, the leash slipped out of Dolores’ hand. The dogs barked at each other, but never made physical contact. Patalano hit the tiny dog multiple times over the head and body with his wooden cane until the dog was unconscious. A witness helped Dolores pick up Missy and rush her to an emergency veterinarian’s office where she died. According to the Cranston police, Patalano stated he hit Missy to kill her.
Patalano, however denies that, and according to Turnto10News, stated Missy ran into the cane.
“The small dog accidentally ran into the cane. And the cane hit the dog also. And it died,” Patalano stated insisting he had been swiping his cane to keep Missy away from biting his own dog.
Judge Taft-Carter didn’t buy into his story before passing down her sentence, stating:
“This was a malicious beating that no creature should ever endure.”
In a statement to the court, written by Mrs. Antonelli and read by Rhode Island Attorney General Special Assistant Jonathan Burke, came the questions:
“’Why didn’t he stop? Why didn’t he just pick up his dog? Why did he have to kill my dog?’”
Rest in peace Missy. Photo of Patalano and Yorkie screenshot via Turn To 10 News.
- Steve Nguyen