Sebastian police officer charged after K9 dies in patrol car

(Source: Sebastian Police Department)

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Sebastian police officer faces an animal cruelty charge after a four-month investigation into the death of his police dog.

The dog, named Diesel, was “left unattended” in the officer’s car when he parked it at the Melbourne courthouse in Brevard County on April 28, a statement from the Brevard-Seminole State Attorney’s office said. The temperature that day was 88 degrees.

The officer found the dog in the car when he arrived home in Sebastian, Indian River County, hours later. He called 911 and reported the dog dead.

The Office of the State Attorney has filed a charge of Animal Cruelty against Officer Eric Antosia, the dog’s handler. The charge is a misdemeanor.

The police vehicle in which Diesel was left is equipped with alarms and other safety equipment to prevent the dog from becoming overheated. Police are investigating whether the safety equipment was working.

Antosia has been placed on administrative leave without pay, according to a statement from the Sebastian Police Department.

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